To the Editor,
I have never liked nor been able to appreciate the Lillooet "Guaranteed Rugged" sign that greets people as they enter Lillooet. In the 27 years that I have lived in Lillooet, Lillooet "BC's Little Nugget" has evoked much warmer and far more endearing feelings for me and for the friends and family that have visited here from afar. I do admit, however, that the old sign could have been brighter and shinier. Lillooet, "BC's Little Nugget" at least addresses a part of our history and can be followed up directly and indirectly with visits to our wonderful and informative Museum and through many of our businesses.
So, as I have been taught to do from my years at school, I researched the definition of “Rugged.” The dictionary gives us some synonyms to help understand the meaning of "Rugged:"
Definition: Bumpy, weathered
Synonyms: asperous, broken, coarse, craggy, difficult, furrowed, harsh, hilly, irregular, jagged, leathery, lumpy, stark, uneven, unlevel, unpolished, unrefined, unsmooth, weather-beaten, worn, wrinkled
What would you think about describing our little town, nestled on the shores of the mighty Fraser River, as broken, coarse, difficult, harsh, unrefined, weather-beaten and unpolished? I think that the water flowing down past the hospital and cascading from under Main Street and the adjacent footpath into the backyard of one of our local residences is harsh, rough, unrefined and certainly unpolished. And what I do know for sure, is that a great deal of middle-aged people, you know, those with the great pensions, thinking about a quiet little place to retire will not be looking to come and take residence in our wet and saturated but apparent Rugged community. Oh, and as a contrasting thought, there are also the water restrictions that the District, with its vast wisdom, has just put in place. A bit ironic, don’t you think, with all the gallons and gallons of water washing away the roads, paths and backyards in Lillooet?
Lillooet, “BC’s Little Nugget,” brings far more attractive and appealing thoughts to my mind at least, and certainly to those of two friends of mine who, after working many years for the government and as a longshoreman, have changed their minds about retiring to Lillooet, now “Guaranteed Rugged.” They will retire from Vancouver and take their hard-earned pensions to spend on the Sunshine Coast. Too bad, really, as I have always wanted people to see the warm, interesting, friendly and attractive community I have always found Lillooet to be.