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After days of sun and high temperatures the weather cooled a bit for our annual KL62 Block Watch Party on June 28. Sixty-five neighbours – young and old — from the streets around the 3000 block of East 59th in Vancouver gathered to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. The event began with introductions and a brief Block Watch Annual General Meeting – an update on recent incidents and tips for keeping the neighbourhood safe. Then everyone enjoyed chatting and sampling a wide range of food items. This year’s focus was on ethnic cuisine and several neighbours brought Chinese and South Asian treats. One family brought boxes of fresh tomatoes for everyone to share.
This year there were more small children than in the past. The kids enjoyed face painting and games. We held our first tug-o-war, and had an enthusiastic competition with prizes courtesy of the Vancouver Police Department.
These gatherings are very important for us in helping to reinforce the core Block Watch ethic of neighbours caring for neighbours and for helping people to get to know each other better. People share news – the changes in the neighbourhood with several recent house sales – and promote community engagement. We feel that some indicators of success are: many people enthusiastically contribute to the organizing and smooth functioning of the event; members of the neighbourhood including seniors join in every year; and some members bring relatives, especially grandchildren, to the event. Even people who have moved away from the neighbourhood want to stay in touch.