Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • August-September 2022 • Circulation 5000

Bernard Soberg: Contributing to Our Community

Bernard Soberg. Paula E. Kirman

Many of our volunteers apply their skills in more than one aspect of the paper. Bernard Soberg actively participates with BMC News in a variety of capacities. He is a writer, part of the Editorial Committee, and most recently he accepted two of our largest routes as a block carrier.

Bernard was born in Saskatoon, but grew up in Victoria, British Columbia, which he considers his “psychic” home. “The community I grew up in is called James Bay, a sort of ‘wrong side of the tracks’ place compared to the more affluent parts of Victoria,” he says. “I loved James Bay, bounded by the Parliament Buildings, Beacon Hill Park, and the ocean. This was my playground as a young boy. The small privately owned grocery stores, cafes, and pubs combined to offer a sense of community.”

The aspects of life he enjoyed in James Bay are similar to the ones he now enjoys as a member of the McCauley community. “I moved to McCauley in 2006. Not knowing the area, I was soon captivated by its character. It reminded me of James Bay where I grew up,” he says. “McCauley, with its privately owned grocery store, cafes, and park reminds me of the quality of life that we enjoyed during my youth in Victoria.”

Bernard began volunteering with the paper shortly after he became a resident of the area. “I felt a need to engage with my chosen community. Boyle McCauley News is the only vehicle I am aware of that reflects the voice of its inhabitants,” he says. “I see things happening here that are special and wanted to do my part in reflecting that richness of life back to the community as I had observed in my youth. While we are not rich monetarily, we are rich in other ways. I wanted to record that richness.”

In addition to the paper, over the years Bernard has been involved with the McCauley Community League, the McCauley soccer program, and Revitalization. “The revitalization of McCauley is a major issue for me,” he says. “We live in a community that includes the Inner City with all its challenges. I have tried to make a positive difference in this area through volunteering and working for the Bissell Centre on 96 Street. Unfortunately, I am not strong enough to sustain this kind of activity. I burnt out after only three months.”

Still, Bernard continues to support his community in other ways. “I was a strong supporter of the Boyle Renaissance Project, because I saw it as a good learning process in multi-stakeholder cooperation. I also support the McCauley Community League’s line in the sand policy regarding a moratorium on social housing.”

Having an academic background, Bernard describes himself as a “progressive-pragmatist. I hold myself to very high ideals, but realize that the road to progress is slow and fraught with challenges. Sometimes you measure progress with a very short stick. Nonetheless, we keep working.”

We thank Bernard for applying his work ethic to our community newspaper.

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