The past month has been a busy one! Since the last full newsletter, we've held our Member Appreciation Mingle, our 48th Annual Golf Tournament, launched the new DiscoverBelleville.ca website, had to cancel "Market in the Park".
The Golf committee pulled together our 48th Golf Tournament with the added "Corporate Challenge - Golf Edition" while Susan was transforming the fall event we're responsible for each September for the City. We had hoped an open air market down at Zwick's would be a safe approach to the event we usually hold indoors at the Armouries. But, as pandemic protocol has dictated for months now - there are no guarantees, life changes in an instant - and the event was cancelled.
We have also been working on developing a Chamber Chat LIVE series that will focus on e-commerce (and what it really means to be on-line). I'm excited to welcome Jamie Hosking, e-commerce advisor for the City to support all businesses, as our guide through this conversation - with his background, he will talk us through a variety of topics that hopefully give you answers to the questions you didn't even know you should ask...
See details on the series and registration info below (the first one will be this Friday at noon).
On another note, Greg Sudds, our President, and I were most honoured to join the Magee & Black Bear Ridge family on Saturday as they gathered (safely) to celebrate the life of golf course designer & owner, Brian Magee. In February, we had noted that Brian was to receive the 2020 Cornerstone Visionary award at our President's Dinner. Brian's health had started to fail though we were hoping he'd be back at the course for the summer and might be able to accept his award in person at our golf tournament; instead, we were invited to present the award to his wife, Susan and children, Brendan & Diana. Brian passed away on July 18.
The Visionary award is presented to a member of the Chamber who, through their ability to see potential, resilience to doubt and perseverance to bring something to life that ultimately puts our community on the map. Brian Magee's vision of a golf course among the forest and farmland acreage he found in Thurlow was a dream come true for him... he described for me how he could see every tee box, fairway and green - how the land, the trees, the rocks cradled the course he wanted to build. Pebble Beach is the only other golf course of international ranking that was designed by an "amateur" and that is not Black Bear Ridge's only claim to fame... named in the top 100 courses in Canada, top 50 in Ontario - golfers travel from all over to play here and return again and again.
Brian was always quick to engage in a conversation - about golf, Belleville, the Downtown - and some of his ideas were a bit radical as any visionary's often are... but that was the joy in talking to him. He marveled at the fact he was able to pick up this amazing parcel of land; remarking that people from here have no idea what a treasure they live in, on and near.
It's a sentiment we hear more and more often as new people come to our community. It is also part of what has driven us to build a website that invites both locals and visitors alike to "discover Belleville". While we may not have predicted how important it would be to appreciate where we live now that travel is so complicated - there is a part of me that hopes we do Brian Magee proud by embracing our space fully and completely. A sliver lining of this pandemic may be that now we'll take the time to explore it.
Because at the end, and in his words - we will run out of time.