Saturday, June 8, 2013

Welcome to Clarenville Newcomers!! Let’s Find the Welcome Mat and Roll it out!

From: The Packet (www.thepacket.ca)  June 6, 2013

Perspective is everything.  Seeing I am not originally from Clarenville, I feel that I have a slightly different perspective on Clarenville than people who are born and bred here – a better appreciation for what it is to be an objective outsider looking in.   After 22 years residency and being pretty involved in the community, I do sometimes feel as if I am loosing that perspective.  This was brought home to me this week when I read Jayme Gough’s column in the Packet “A mini United Nations in Clarenville”.  In her piece she talks about the verity of people that she has met since she moved here – not so much locals but more so people who now live here from Greece, Italy, the United States and elsewhere in Canada – literally from all over the world!   

Jamie’s perspective was quite an eye-opener for me.  I suppose I knew that people had been moving in for projects like the GBS build in Bull Arm,  and I have met a couple – but I imagine that the average person in Clarenville, me included,  is not engaged with the newcomers.   That’s our loss.

The most obvious welcoming response I have seen is at Clarenville Inn where we see the Norwegian flag has joined the other flags in front of the hotel.  I have seen no evidence that the official Town is doing much to welcome anyone – we should and the Town of Clarenville should.   

It would be great to see community organizations reach out to newcomers and partner their member families with newcomer families.

I’d also like to suggest the Town add a FAQ (frequently asked questions) section to its website, develop a welcome package and host an international event during Clarenville Days – these are neither costly nor difficult asks and they could provide so much opportunity for community development. 

Of course too, I’d live to see newcomers LIKE out Our Town Clarenville Page on Facebook.    The idea for that page came out of the need for better communications – we’re trying to build on that.

With the Bull Arm site ramping up this summer to its maximum workforce of 3000, there is no time like the present to put our efforts into welcoming everyone from everywhere.  Combined, our efforts will roll out the Welcome Mat and with effort and luck, these newcomers will soon be feeling more like me – part of the community.

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