They weren’t in red serge, but there was a sense of unity amongst the 90 people in the Agassiz Friendship House Saturday night.
An Agassiz RCMP Detachment Reunion saw current and former RCMP members, auxiliary members and support staff who worked at the local detachment between 1982 and 2002 – when the detachment became part of the Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment (UFVRD) – come together.
One key organizer, Valerie Richards, worked at the Agassiz RCMP detachment for 16 years in administration and as an office manager. She retired in 2007, but it was only a few years ago that she decided to get the group back together again.
Looking through old photo albums had surfaced a lot of nostalgia for Richards. At a small detachment like Agassiz, the team is pretty tight-knit, she told the Observer.
“Agassiz is such a unique area in that we had Harrison, which is tourism, the prisons, which is unique [and] the community in itself… and we policed all the way up to Popkum, and Harrison Lake up to Port Douglas.”
“You depend on each other.”
Richards said a lot of members from that time period lived in the community. Agassiz was where they worked, played and raised their kids and community events and functions were a huge part of the detachment.
“We had an RCMP ball team, we did an RCMP spring ball for the community, we did a lot of community functions and became a really close-knit group.”
About 90 people showed up from across Canada and B.C. for the reunuion on Saturday, according to Richards. She had been concerned about having music, but it turned out to be a non-issue, thanks to the energy of the reunion.
“As soon as everybody saw each other it was just hugs all around and everyone was so excited,” she said. “I don’t know if we even heard three songs. The atmosphere was so loud of people reconnecting and visiting, it would have been totally useless to have music there.”
Emceed by former Agassiz member Steve Rayworth, with special guest speaker UFVRD officer in charge (OIC) Bryon Massie, followed by a round of Agassiz detachment trivia, the event was, without a doubt, a success.
The Agassiz Fire Department volunteered to run the bar while Lori’s Catering served up a delicious dinner. Every former member or worker from the Agassiz detachment received a commemorative coin with the RCMP crest on one side and a picture of Agassiz – the Agassiz Rosedale bridge and Mt. Cheam – on the other.
|Everyone who worked at the detachment received a commemorative coin. (Submitted)|
An info sheet with the coin reads: “Whether you worked at the Agassiz RCMP detachment for weeks, months, or years, this coin is a reminder that you will always be part our family and team during those years…”