Back in 1998 I was given a routine assignment. Stop into the RCMP detachment in Parrsboro and meet its newest member, for a short, welcome to town profile story and photo.
My first impression of Guy Bergeron, who recently retired after 20 years with the RCMP, was one of slight surprise, as he didnt fit the description of what I considered a typical RCMP officer. Sure, he was a little hefty, but he also carried a personality that identified himself as someone different. He had a unique sense of humour that mixed up sarcasm and silliness to a brand new level.
Through our conversation he mentioned to me that he had been involved in community radio at his previous posting in Cheticamp, and was willing to try and get a similar project on the go in Parrsboro. I had never even heard of community radio, and almost laughed at the thought of a radio station in my small hometown.
A few months passed and we met up again, and he told me a bit more of his plans. He convinced me that he was serious, and that this could really work. I jumped on board.
Before long Guy had a committee of local volunteers put together, and the Parrsboro Radio Society was formed, with him as the first chairman. Crucial support was won, equipment was acquired, and Parrsboro community radio hit the airwaves for its first special events broadcast in the summer of 2000.
Seven years later we now have our own studio, an enviable supply of equipment and a dedicated group of volunteers and supporters from within and outside town. We have successfully completed seven summer broadcasts, three Christmas broadcasts, and an additional special event broadcast last August and September.
The radio society has been a great success in Parrsboro because it was built by volunteers who wanted to provide a service to their community, with no personal ambitions or hidden agendas clouding the way. None of this would have happened without the leadership and vision shown by Guy Bergeron.
For that, I salute you, my friend.