Archie Staats: Community Spirit Exemplified

by Shane Ryan Alternate-Director Mill Bay Malahat, Vice President Mill Bay Community League

In the coming months I’ll profile influential members of the Mill Bay Community.
This month I’m talking with Archie Staats. Archie is one of the longest-standing members of the League, having joined in 1975. He’s a prolific volunteer. Who is involved with several community organisations. He is also an all-round great guy.
Born in Trail BC, he grew up in a large family with two brothers and four sisters. After high school, Archie trained as a heavy-duty mechanic, and worked in the oil fields of Alberta. Eventually he retrained as a plumber and while working on a treatment plant in Lethbridge he discovered his lifelong interest in waste-water reclamation. Archie says he “liked the idea of turning waste-water into potable water”.
In 1974 Archie settled in Mill Bay with his wife Linda, started a business and raised two children, and now has five grand-children. In his 46 years in Mill Bay, Archie has seen it grow from a hamlet of 500 families to more than 1300. In his spare time Archie works on his Lamborghini and Ferrari kit cars.
I talked with Archie about his experience in Mill Bay. He says that when he first came to Mill Bay it was a less dense community with a more pioneer feel. There was no Kerry Park arena, few amenities, and no shopping mall and limited access to a doctor. However, in this smaller community it was not hard to recruit volunteers to help out. People pulled together and all did what the community needed done. For example, Archie mentioned that once during a trying negotiation with the Mill Bay volunteer firefighters, the firefighters abruptly quit. Within three days a new volunteer fire department was formed. In 1983 when the old MBCL hall burnt down within three years the funds were donated/raised and a new hall was built.
Archie says that in today’s busy culture young families have less time. Both parents work and often commute long distances and the volunteer spirit of the community has suffered as a result. “The average age of our local volunteer organizations is definitely on the older side”.
Archie says he would love to see more young members of our community get involved in local volunteerism. Archie’s closing comment really resonated with me: “Those who volunteer to help their community don’t only help their community. They help themselves by surrounding themselves with great people who become great lifelong friends.”
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