By Gord Smarsh
In 1986, we moved into the Capilano neighbourhood. This community was founded in 1960 and many of the original owners were still living in their homes.
The first time I met Al Park, he told me that unless we recruited more people to volunteer, the Capilano Community League would have to fold. The community was exactly what we wanted, with established schools, great parks and ice rinks. It was a place where families grow together. The Community League had some funds, but not enough workers. Al heard that that a new Bingo hall was going to open in Allendale. He and Bob Breakenridge (Bingo Bob) went to the first meeting and reported back that we should get in on the ground floor. Al was a shrewd business man who made good investments with the Community League’s money.
The Allendale Bingo Association investment provided funding for many years so that the Community League could expand, create new programming and new facilities. During Al’s time with the community league, we created a new playground, rebuilt the skating rink, rebuilt the tennis courts and then we renovated and expanded the community league facility.
Al was a wonderful person to work with, he always had a new joke to try out on you, and he kept the mood of meetings light. He worked hard to improve Capilano community and infected all around him with the inspiration to make this community a better place for all.
NOTE: Community funds resulting from Al Park’s many years involved in Capilano Community League also contributed to the recent 2014 redevelopment of Capilano Community Park. Please enjoy Al Park’s memorial bench in the northeast corner of the playground.