Its Time For Everyone In Valley East To Pull Together and Build The Foundation For A Successful Future
by Robert Kirwan 
Valley East Today!

As I stood beside the pond in my back yard admiring the new waterfall that my wife had recently constructed, I was reminded of a song released a long time ago by the famous singer, Harry Belafonte. 

The main feature of the pond was a bucket turned over on its side, allowing the water to flow freely out and down the hill in a stream.

The song by Belafonte, a banter between a husband and wife about fixing a hole in the bucket, suddenly hit me that the lyrics were symbolic of what is happening in the Greater Sudbury Area, and in particular in Valley East. 

The song begins with Lisa, the wife, asking her husband to go fetch some water from the well. It goes something like this:

"There’s a hole in the bucket, Dear Lisa, Dear Lisa. There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Lisa, a hole.

Well fix it, dear Henry, dear Henry. Well fix it, dear Henry. Fix it!

With what shall I fix it, dear Lisa, dear Lisa. With what shall I fix it, dear Lisa. With what?

With straw, dear Henry, dear Henry. With straw, dear Henry. With straw.

The straw is too long, dear Lisa, dear Lisa. The straw is too long, dear Lisa, too long."

And so the song goes on and on with Henry stating that the ax is too dull to cut the straw, and Lisa eventually telling him to wet the stone to sharpen the ax. Henry finally comes to the point where he asks with what he should carry the water to wet the stone and is told to fetch it with a bucket, to which he replies, "There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Lisa, dear Lisa. There’s a hole in the bucket, dear Lisa. A Hole."

The song is a rather silly rendition, except that it says a lot about what is going on in our community today.

Our population is declining; our unemployment rate is one of the highest in the country; our children are moving away to find jobs; our small businesses are having a hard time surviving; restructuring of our municipality is not going the way it was planned; our hospital is in financial trouble; the list goes on and on.

The fact is: we have a hole in our bucket and until we fix it, we will have a great deal of difficulty generating any kind of economic stability in this area.




Having lived in Valley East since 1974, and all of my life in the Greater Sudbury Area, I realized that if I could make any difference at all in bringing the region out of the hole into which we were sinking, I had to make an effort. 

I have a saying that I remember whenever I am faced with a critical moment in my life:

"There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them."

I want people to remember me as a person who was not afraid of accepting the responsibility for making positive changes in this community.

There have always been those who say that Valley East has no real identity and that people living here have no real sense of community - nor do they want to develop a sense of community. They complain about everything and tend to give up easily.

These people remind me about a story about two frogs which fell into a deep bowl of cream. One was an optimistic soul, but the other took the gloomy view.

"I shall drown," cried the pessimist. "And so shall you."

So, with a last despairing cry, he closed his eyes and said "Good-bye" and sank into the cream and died.

The people who do not believe in the potential of Valley East declare that we will never amount to anything. They take on the gloomy view and say that it is useless to even try.

On the other hand, there are those who have devoted their lives to working for the good of the community. They are people like the volunteers who have worked so hard as part of a multitude of community groups. You will read about those people on this web site. Those people remind me of the other frog which fell into the deep bowl of cream. 

After its partner gave up and sank to the bottom, the other optimistic frog said, "I can't get out, but I won't give in! I'll swim around till my strength is spent. If I have to die, at least I will die content knowing that I didn't give up."

And the frog bravely swam around and around the bowl until his struggles began to churn the cream. Finally he came to rest on top of the hardened butter which had been made as a result of his continuous swimming. He then hopped out of the bowl to safety.

I admire the people who have decided to continue to try their best to build and develop a sense of community in this fine municipality of Valley East. At times, it must seem as if no one is listening and your struggles are for naught. But let the lesson of the struggling frog be an inspiration. One day the cream will turn to butter and Valley East will hop out of the bowl to the bright future which awaits us all.

We are proud to do what we can to make a difference with Valley East Today. By building this web site into one of the most comprehensive community web sites in the country, we will ensure that people all over the world have an opportunity to share in the celebration of our 100 plus years of existence. 

I invite all residents of Valley East to make a resolve to take the optimistic view and to support the people, who, year after year, put in hundreds of hours to provide us with opportunities to come together as a community. The best way that we can show our appreciation to these people is to take part in the events that they organize year after year. We live in one of the finest communities in Ontario. Let's show others, through our words and deeds, that we truly believe in the future of Valley East and that we are proud to call this community home.


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Valley East Today is published by
Infocom Canada Business Consultants Inc.