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CAF officer says he's done with city living

Connecting the Dots: Life in Reston, Manitoba appeals to a well-traveled soldier

Enjoying summer in the fall for a few hours on Nov. 2nd, lawn mowers once again buzzed, people strolled and motorized wheel chairs zipped down streets. It’s rural Canada at its best and people want to live here. There’s a unique interplay of the ages available in town living.

Captain Derek Millard (CAF) and his wife Shauna (originally from Reston) live in Reston now, where he continues to work for Canada’s military in administration, remotely. Some jobs can easily be carried out from anywhere with good internet service.  

Millard says of their new life in Reston, “I love it. I married Shawna. We used to come home every summer or spring but we only got to spend a week.”

Now he smiles and says, “I’m done with the bigger cities, the hustle and bustle.”

Millard appreciates several things about their rural town. “A little slower pace. I like how everyone’s involved and that’s what makes the community.” He adds, “It doesn’t matter whether you go to the golf club or you go to the RES or the rink or the school, everyone’s involved. That’s what I enjoy the most.”

Small-town living also affords accountability that doesn’t carry through to large centres. I’m comparing and contrasting what I saw in Virden Junior High this week, or with the Reston Grade 11 class, to the violent party scene in East St. Paul this past weekend. You’ve probably heard that news dozens of times now, where a police car was vandalized, police officers mobbed, and youth at risk with attempted rape going on.

While this can happen anywhere, the students I saw recently give me hope for our future.

In next week’s Remembrance edition of the Empire-Advance you will see the Lions Peace Poster winners. Aside from the great posters, it was the class attitude that caught my attention. Four classes were crowded into Darrell Corbel’s Gr. 7 room including students of Troy Leslie, Alexa Park and Jason Routledge. They filed in with a few instructions from teachers.

Then Lion Joan Veselovsky (retired teacher), took over and introduced the poster contest. There was respectful quiet. What happened next surprised me given that students sat or stood with deadpan faces looking like they didn’t really want to be there.

Upon the announcement of each winner, from last place to first place, spontaneous applause erupted for each classmate. All in all, from winners to onlookers, their enthusiasm was warming.

The same attitude of engagement and respect was noted regarding Reston youth who participated in a project generated by Reston Librarian Kim MacKenzie. You will read of the “No Stone Left Alone” project also in next week’s issue where, standing in a cold breeze at Pipestone Cemetery Tuesday morning, Grade 11 students from Reston actively engaged in a ceremony and visited with community members.

Kudos to local teachers, caring citizens and responsive students.

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