Feature Story                                                                                       Thursday, November 21, 2013


The Miracle of My Rings

Chilliwack Community Services celebrates Multiculturalism Week

Staff/Voice photos


Students decorate a freshly planted dogwood tree at Central Park on Monday. Below, Coun. Chuck Stam and Saied Hashempour put their backs into it and finish the planting.


o Immigrant Services, trees are symbolic of the diversity in the Chilliwack community. As part of Multiculturalism Week, Chilliwack Community Services (CCS) wanted to do something that encompassed the variety of cultures in the city, so they chose to plant a small tree in Central Community Park .


On Monday, City Hall dignitaries and CCS staff were joined by students from Central Elementary School to take part in planting a pink flowering dogwood.


The kids were tasked by their teachers to design paper tree decorations with words of wisdom written on them.


James Challman, Executive Director of CCS, explained to the kids why they chose that particular type of tree to honour multiculturalism in the city.

"The dogwood is one of the many different trees you can see throughout here and it kind of symbolizes one tree out of many different ones," said Challman. "We're a little bit past fall, but in the fall time it's wonderful, you see a lot of different colours and the colours of the different trees are symbolic of the different cultures that we have in Chilliwack that make us beautiful and the community beautiful."

With shovel in hand, acting Mayor Chuck Stam said that multiculturalism is alive and well in Chilliwack.

"If you look around us, what a beautiful diverse community we have and we just thank Community Services for highlighting it, not only for one week of the year, but for all the services that you provide for all our different cultures within the community all year long," he said, adding that "multiculturalism" is a big word and he preferred to simplify it by relating it to the variety of trees in the park.

"How boring it would be if all the trees were the same?" he asked. "Well, look around us, every tree is different. Different heights, different shades, different leaves, they all have different branches, and that's exactly what the communities across British Columbia and across Canada are. That's multiculturalism and that's what makes us so rich and diverse."

For more information on events centered around Multiculturalism Week offered by CCS visit www.comserv.ca 

Download the MP3 file of the kids singing the national anthem here.

See more photos below.


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