When it comes to friendliness, the Saanich Peninsula beats many cities.
It’s a place that evokes a familial atmosphere; where, for better or for worse, nearly everyone knows each other.
During Saturday evening’s Sidney Sparkles Santa parade, parents sat together on the curb along Beacon Avenue and Second Street to chat and catch up, while their children reached out to grab treats from the passing floats, and to point and clap at the spectacular light displays rolling by.
Later, on Bevan Pier, about a dozen people sang Christmas carols as 14 illuminated boats floated past. People waved and cheered, wishing merry Christmas to those on board who had worked so hard to decorate their vessels for the thousands of people who watched the sailpast.
It’s a place where, last week, Sidney council members addressed by name the older women who sat in the rows during the Monday night meeting and offered them rides home. It’s a scene that doesn’t play out in many other towns in this province.
In just a week, the new editor of this paper has encountered the smiles and warm welcomes of so many residents of this area. These simple actions make the Saanich Peninsula feel like home.
It’s no wonder this is becoming an increasingly desirable place for young families to set their roots, why people at or near retirement settle into the comfortable, quiet life on the Peninsula, why tourists flock to the area and leave with that warm and fuzzy feeling.
As the Saanich Peninsula grows and changes over the years, let’s hope a few things stay the same; namely the friendliness that sets this area apart.