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Nada and Marilyn share their TRU Homestay experience

Career mom provides 'TRU' home

By Moneca Jantzen

Marilyn Hammond has made a career of being a “mom.” Landing in Kamloops 40 years ago in 1977, Marilyn worked for Interior Computing before starting her family with husband Gerry. Opting to become a stay-at-home mother, Marilyn said, “I volunteered with the PAC from the first daughter in elementary school to the third daughter graduating from high school. I was involved with everything I could be with the kids.”

It was while their own children were young that the Hammonds began participating in the TRU Homestay program, welcoming a steady stream of young people from countries such as Korea, China and Hong Kong. It was a great opportunity for the girls to get exposure to different cultures and it gave the newcomers a non-threatening opportunity to practise their English.

Marilyn’s obligations as a homestay mother were to “provide a home, meals and transportation to and from college.” But Marilyn and the rest of the family enjoyed helping the students learn about Canada, practise English and teach them a few colloquiallisms such as “Take a hike,” or “Hit the road.” Laughter would ensue when the student would inevitably say “Hit the hike” or “Take a road.” Students would be included in regular family activities and road trips. Some students stayed a matter of weeks and others stayed for a couple of years. It
depended on many things including course of study and enthusiasm for participating in a homestay placement.

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Quizzing the Candidates

BC Votes this May 9th and to help you become acquainted with our local candidates and some of the key issues, Jared MacArthur posed several questions to all eight of them. The last three questions regarding transportation, environmental sustainability and engagement are featured this month and appear at the link in their entirety. Part one of this feature appeared last month with the first two questions answered.

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Seasons of a Blazers 'mom'

Seasons of a Blazers 'mom'

Val Davidson has been a Blazers “mom” for the past six years and this day and the day before were the bittersweet days of the season where she had to say farewell to her billets — Collin Shirley, Erik Miller and Nolan Kneen. Team captain Shirley had been staying in their home for the past four hockey seasons and now that he is 20 years old, he’s no longer eligible to play in the WHL. Admitting that is was a “tough day,” Val was happy to explain why she and her husband, Les, open their home to Blazers players year after year.

“It makes for a busy house. And it’s just fun having them around. Quite a contrast in the summer when they’re not here.”

The Davidsons moved to Kamloops two decades ago from Edmonton. With no children of their own and a big rambling house in Valleyview, Val recalls that she had heard about the billeting program on the radio. Already hockey fans and season ticket holders, they decided it might be an interesting thing to do.

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