Communal Memories…

I came of age in the 1960’s. When I was twenty, I moved into an urban commune, the Campus Residence Cooperative Association. Two Edwardian houses, next door to each other in the heart of New Westminster. For the first couple of summers, I went home to Nanaimo to work and earn the funds necessary to cover university costs. Half of 1969 was spent in Pine Point in the Northwest Territories working with Frontier College. The second half of that year was spent vagabonding in Toronto and Montreal. 1970, a pivotal political year in Canada, saw my return to the West Coast. I was somewhat aimless that year, dabbling in student life, staying with a friend, assisting her as she provided room and board to a few out of town first nations youth.

The October Crisis had a strong impact on me, hardened me to the point where my up-to-then transitory suspicion about the beneficence of government firmed up. Even though, years later, I would find a career in Government, albeit at the service delivery end, I never quite lost that mistrust of the magnanimity of the State as exemplified by Pierre Trudeau’s sweeping use of the War Measures Act.

However, around that time, I sought out the CRCA again and moved back in, staying for the next thirteen years.

I offer this abridged sketch of my early housing history to introduce the CRCA Library and this recent photo that appeared on the CRCA Facebook page.

I occasionally have been chastised for excessive promotion of my modest writings. There may be some truth in that. In this case though, I am offering my heartfelt gratitude for the continued existence of the CRCA, its beautiful library, stain glass and all, and a community I still feel a part of even though I moved away thirty-six years ago.


Confessions in the Co-op Library


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