My high school English teacher often said, of all the subjects taught, throughout my life, I’d come to rely on Shakespeare the most. I thought she was just trying to make herself seem indispensible, but she was right because “that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”.
When amalgamation talks began in earnest in 2018 after the Town of Black Diamond annexed some land so the borders between BD and TV finally kissed, meaning we could amalgamate if we chose, I was scared – scared a shared future would somehow have us forgetting our history and our pasts. I remember sitting in the basement of the Black Diamond Town Office (aka. Council Chambers), listening to the amalgamation discussion of 13 other councillors. I did voice my concern. I was, and maybe still am, concerned our people would be very upset about this perceived loss of identity.
But, we don’t lose our identity when we marry. We don’t forget the past when we form new friendships. We build, we grow, we create new stories, memories and identities. This is what I wish for all of us – a shared history, because it’s not as if Turner Valley hasn’t been part of Black Diamond’s history and visa versa; it’s been shared all along.
Heading into the unknown, into the combined future of our two towns, I’m excited to see how we will celebrate this union. This amalgamation is the first of its kind and that in itself is something to celebrate. Most amalgamations are a larger and stronger municipality taking over a smaller and probably failing one. That’s not us. We are both healthy organizations that have made the choice to come together. So, let’s celebrate our community that’s been tied together from the beginning.
How do you see us celebrating? A party, community murals, in song, a play, a book? It’s all possible, we just need you to help make it happen.