Over the years various Gabrioloids have successfully applied for grants from the federal or provincial government. In the 60’s there was a project to mark all the ‘beach accesses’ that had become overgrown or hijacked by adjacent land owners who preferred to keep the public away and use the land for their own devices. Several concrete ‘beach access’ markers still point the way down these handy pathways to the shore.
One such project involved some work at Drumbeg Park – one of the nicest places on the island to spend an afternoon. The park was named by ‘Doc’ Nichols, who owned lots of real estate in the area – including the land that is now the park. Apparently the area reminded him of part of coastal Scotland called Drumbeg. Besides a place on Breakwater Island – which he also owned – he had a homestead in what is now the park. Although a few of the trees he planted remain, the last of the house and chicken coop was burned down by the volunteer fire department as an exercise back in the late 80’s.
Part of the project at Drumbeg Park included installing benches at some scenic spots in the park, and one such spot was at ‘Joint Point’, at the entrance to Gabriola Passage. From this fine wooden bench, relaxed park users (no pun intended) can watch boats come and go through the passage between Gabriola and Valdez Islands. Although the name does not appear on too many official publications, it is usually carved into the bench by artistic park patrons who sit and enjoy the view. Most locals know the name – almost instinctively. It seems to make scents.
If the view of Valdez and Kendrick Islands and the Passage is not entertaining enough, peering over the rocky outcrop on a sunny day, one may also spot some Gabrioloids ‘au natural’ catching some extra vitamin ‘d’ and an all-over tan.