As many of you have heard me joke over the years, volunteering at a local level can be a challenging business, and your passion for making your community better had better equal your desire for bad coffee and folding tables. It can be difficult to see an end point or define success on a day-by-day basis, as you worry about keeping the lights on.
But that work is what makes communities actually work. The grind and the payoff are, in a sense, one and the same. For former alderman and current Parkdale resident Dale Hodges, thirty years in City Council created a body of work that does more than speak for itself – it speaks to the best of us all.
Dale’s commitment to Calgary – and to the residents of its Northwest – yielded countless benefits that are enjoyed by Calgarians long after he left council. That legacy was honoured on April 25 at City Council, which unanimously approved renaming east Bowmont Park the Dale Hodges Park to recognize Calgary’s longest-serving member of council.
Dale’s wife Yvonne remains a dedicated supporter of the best in Calgary, working with the Parkdale Community Garden on a number of major beautification initiatives and serving as our liaison with the Simon House recovery centre.
Dale and Yvonne’s public service is remarkable. Through decades of volunteerism, long hours and commitment, they have fundamentally changed our community, and they’ve done it with minimal fuss, zero grandstanding and an unwavering commitment to creating a better city for everyone.
This, more than anything, is what exemplifies the best of what we can offer as Parkdalians and as Calgarians. It’s not always easy to see over the rock you’re pushing up the hill, but knowing that there are people like Dale and Yvonne who have created real change for all of us makes it so much easier.
Read more at the Calgary Herald.