Over the years, Community Education on Salt Spring Island, has been run by School District 64 and PARC (Parks and Recreation Commission). The program was more costly and time consuming that they were able to handle.
In 2003, Judi Francis, a Librarian, with Salt Spring Island Public Library, had lunch with Garth Hendren. By the end of a very lengthy lunch, the two had decided to embark on a mission that the big guys found too costly, and the SSI Council for Community Education was born.
Word spread, and meetings began in earnest in June 2003. By Septemter the meetings included wine (4 - 3 litre boxes) and food - lime sherbet, tarts and brownies. By November, SCE had a mail box at Salt Spring Books, and an office at Salt Spring Elementary.
In December, the Founder's Meeting was held, with 19 people present. Judi and Garth were elected as co-presidents. They had secured a grant of $1,600 from PARC and the CRD for $3,000. A new computer was donated by Steve Grayson, and everyone who attended the meeting brought office supplies.
The first registration took place in early March 2004 at the Library, with ads in the Driftwood and Village Views. The first selection of coursere were such a hit, that we are still offering them today! - These included computer courses, bridge, gardening, cooking and basketry.
The organization continued to grow, but funding remained a challenge. In November 2007, Judi and Gail Sjuberg, co-chaired SCE's first book sale. In an article in the Driftwood, Gail wrote, "While Judi has referred to us as co-chairs, she is actually running the show and simply using me as an idea reflector. Anyone who's worked with Judi knows she's a whirlwind when it comes to organisation and excecution. She is impresive, grateful and loads of fun at the same time."
Lynne Johnson moved to Salt Spring around that time, and joined the board as a way of meeting people and giving something back to this wonderful community. Lynne volunteered at the booksale the first year, and had a ball - Judi noticed! She asked Lynne to take over the booksale the following year, but Lynne declined - offering instead to shadow her. Lynne took copious notes and along with Ludi's flow charts and lists, felt ready to tackle the job by 2009.
Judi decided it was time for a change and retired". Lynne became Chair (President) in 2009.
Lynne has enormous shoes to fill, but feels fortunate that Judi is only a phone call away.
Judi has left a lasting memory and history for SCE. With the help of many others who shared her vision along the way, she created a strong, vibrant and self-sustaining organization, that continues to strive to meet the needs of Salt Springers, for life long learning.