SCCPC executive co-ordinator steps down

Smirfitt: committee welcomes new ideas, perspectives, and energy

  • Dec. 17, 2015 1:00 p.m.

Barbara Roden

Free Press

After 26 years, Lea Smirfitt, South Cariboo Community Planning Council (SCCPC) executive director, has stepped down from the role.

There was always something fresh, so it doesn’t seem that long. Then I look at all the paper, and realize it was,” she laughs.

Her journey began in 1989, when she identified the need to have a co-ordination of services in the 100 Mile House area. The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) did a survey at the same time, which identified the need to have co-ordinated responses to those requiring help.

The Community Resource Team was established as a result, under the auspices of the CMHA, with Smirfitt using her skills to develop the program.

In 2007, she oversaw the creation of the SCCPC, when it was determined that the organization should become an independent non-profit society.

It’s been a huge learning experience,” Smirfitt says of her time with the group. “Everyone sharing their knowledge takes the generosity of the community.”

She was expecting a couple of people to be at El Caballo recently to say farewell, and says she was astounded to find the local restaurant full of people there to pay their acknowledgements.

It was beautiful.”

Smirfitt will continue to work with the SCCPC on the South Cariboo Age Friendly Initiative, but says it was time to cut back and conserve her energy.

And it’s time for fresh ideas and new perspectives and new energy for the Council.

I know that the community will offer Marna [Forsyth, new executive co-ordinator] the same support and nurturing they’ve given me over the years.”