Darcy Morgan recently completed his final term as President of the Parkdale Community Association. Please watch his final address and relive some of his favorite moments as he begins his new role as Past President – and continued champion – of the PCA.
Darcy Morgan’s Address to the 2014 AGM –
Friends and Neighbors in Parkdale
What is the relevance of a Community Association in Parkdale at present? The answer to this question is in fact a challenge that is reflected back at all of us. The answer is “whatever we choose it to be”.
In 2013, the neighbors and friends that represent the residents of Parkdale on the PCA Board of Directors, having invested several days of their volunteer time in deep thought, homework and vigorous debate, published their efforts by documenting the vision and mission statements and goals for the PCA. Those documents inform how your PCA Board will choose to make the PCA relevant in the coming years. Their content describes how we choose our community to be relevant.
For your reading convenience, the Vision and Mission are repeated here:
PCA Vision: A welcoming community where safety, beauty, and diversity inspire friendships among residents.
PCA Mission: Our purpose is to create gathering places for connecting the residents of Parkdale and surrounding communities by:
- Providing engaging activities
- Supporting beautiful surroundings
- Providing useful facilities
- Establishing a strong communication network
- Creating strong partnerships
- Managing the Association well
I am confident these statements will resonate with many of you. I have that confidence because they were created by residents of Parkdale, much like you. I equally expect that some of you will have different ideas for the PCA’s mandate. That’s a good thing. I encourage you to bring your ideas forward so they can included in our future. The PCA’s plans will only be relevant if residents like you keep them current by adding your voices and ideas.
I have served multiple terms on the PCA Board, most recently as President for the past 3 years. In that time I have been enriched by the neighbors I have met and worked with and that I now call my friends.
When I first moved to Parkdale, I would brag about living close to the beautiful Bow River and the majestic escarpment that rises up from it. Now, having involved myself with the PCA, I prefer to brag about the fine neighbors that are my friends. The surroundings in Parkdale remain beautiful, but volunteering with the PCA has presented me with great friendships that are far more beautiful.
A few years ago I was approached by Bernie Novokowsky, a long-time Parkdale resident and mentor and friend to many of us. He shared with me that our little community association in Parkdale was at grave risk. He explained that our financial situation bordered on bankruptcy and that our spiritual and moral situations faired not much better.
Undaunted by the PCA’s dismal prospects, Bernie proposed a recovery plan. He believed that if we could just get the right people involved in the recovery, we could overcome the difficulties of the day. And so it was that we built a team of concerned citizens to tackle the issues.
And tackle them they did. As recently as 2010 the PCA was losing money at an alarming rate. Now In 2014, we have achieved a balanced budget with revenues that have doubled in the interim. Part of the austerity measures in 2010 required laying off all staff and relying fully on unpaid volunteers to run the association. Today we have 4 staff and the office is humming with activities. We offer a wide range of programs and services and we have even more planned for the coming year.
So to reiterate the question: are we relevant?
Well, recently our Family Fun Day was attended by nearly 300 neighbors. Our garden-building project saw dozens of locals working and laughing side-by-side as they constructed Phase 1 of the Parkdale Gardens.
So the formula is simple. Start with people. Add some ideas about the future. Do a little bit of work and have a lot of fun doing it. The result is a community of neighbors that become dear friends. I wish to thank the dozens of volunteers I have been privileged to work with at the PCA during my 3 terms as President. You are an inspiration to me. I am proud to be part of our great community. I offer my very best wishes to the in-coming PCA Board of Directors and Executive Committee.