No longer top COP

Gus Armstrong hands over reigns of Ladysmith Citizens on Patrol to Brian McLaurin after nearly a decade as co-ordinator.

Gus Armstrong

Gus Armstrong

After nearly a decade at the helm of Ladysmith’s Citizens on Patrol organization, Gus Armstrong has resigned from his position as co-ordinator.

Brian McLaurin was announced as Armstrong’s replacement at the COP’s last monthly meeting on April 16.

“My stay as a co-ordinator was a direct result of having a good executive committee and a good group of volunteers,” Armstrong told the Chronicle. “They’re all hard workers.”

Due to upcoming back surgery, Armstrong will be taking a leave from the organization and returning as a reserve member.

Armstrong, now 78, joined Ladysmith Citizens on Patrol in June 2000, several years after it had been established, and agreed to take the co-ordinator position in October 2003. He admits he turned the job down a couple times.

“Once I got involved, I wanted to do it right, so one of the first things I did was write the constitution and the operations manual,” he said.

John Perry was one of the first COP members to speak up after the announcement was made. Other members followed with a standing ovation.

“I think he does more volunteer hours than anyone in the association,” said Perry. “He lives and breathes it, he’s on top of everything that’s going on.”

Perry, a six-year Ladysmith COP member, said Armstrong has been one of a few dedicated members at the heart of the operation, and that he will be missed.

“We’re all disappointed that he’s leaving, but we understand, and we’re looking forward to working with Brian,” Perry said. “He’s a class act too.”

McLaurin retired three years ago while living on the mainland and moved to Ladysmith with his wife shortly thereafter. He has been involved with Ladysmith Citizens on Patrol for the last two years and also volunteers with the Town of Ladysmith.

“It was from an ad in the Chronicle, really, that drew my attention to the need for volunteers,” he said. “It’s wonderful to see the spirit of volunteering in Ladysmith. It’s a great little town.”

McLaurin said he is looking forward to the new position and expects it to absorb most of his volunteer time. He says he hopes to continue the stability Armstrong’s presence has brought to the organization.

“He’s done an excellent job over his nine years as co-ordinator,” McLaurin said. “I think our main challenge now is recruiting new members and keeping the existing volunteers engaged.”

The Ladysmith Citizens on Patrol has maintained about 30 to 35 members over the years, including active and reserve members, Armstrong said.

However, with an aging population, the organization is always looking to bring additional members into the fold.

Regular members are only asked to serve four hours a month and must undergo a criminal record check.

“It’s really not an onerous commitment, but it’s really valuable to the community,” McLaurin said.

In addition to patrols, Citizens on Patrol also offers the Speedwatch program and participates in the Stolen Auto Recovery Program, which allows them access to a databank to run license plates on vehicles of interest.

“We are the eyes and ears of the police, and the RCMP act as the brain,” Armstrong said.

To find out how you can get involved with the Ladysmith Citizens on Patrol, call 250-245-1118 or e-mail ladycompol@shawbiz.ca.

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

CVRD to increase enforcement after audits reveal that curb-side recycling contamination in the district is well above acceptable limits. (File photo)
CVRD reports contamination in recyclables well above acceptable levels

Increased enforcement planned starting this summer

A conceptual rendering of the commercial plaza at 1130 Rocky Creek Road. (Town of Ladysmith/June 15 Council Agenda)
Rocky Creek commercial plaza passes public hearing

The proposed plaza at 1130 Rocky Creek Road would bring commercial activity to Ladysmith’s north end

Kate Cram and her team at Old Town Ice Cream are thrilled to be open for business. (Cole Schisler photo)
Old Town Ice Cream opens up right on time for summer

Located at 539 1st Avenue, Old Time Ice Cream is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Indigenous rights and climate activists gathered outside Liberty Mutual’s office in Vancouver to pressure the insurance giant to stop covering Trans Mountain. (Photo by Andrew Larigakis)
Activists work to ensure Trans Mountain won’t get insurance

Global campaign urging insurance providers to stay away from Canadian pipeline project

In the first election with public money replacing corporate or union donations, B.C. Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson, B.C. Greens leader Sonia Furstenau and B.C. NDP leader John Horgan take part in election debate at the University of B.C., Oct. 13, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. MLAs ponder 2022 ‘sunset’ of subsidy for political parties

NDP, B.C. Fed call for increase, B.C. Liberals have no comment

Investigators use a bucket to help recover human remains at a home burned in the Camp fire, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in Magalia, Calif. Many of the missing in the deadly Northern California wildfire are elderly residents in Magalia, a forested town of about 11,000 north of the destroyed town of Paradise. (AP Photo/John Locher)
‘Forever War’ with fire has California battling forests instead

Five of the state’s largest-ever blazes seared California last year, as authorities tackle prevention

Tokyo 2020 President Seiko Hashimoto and IOC President Thomas Bach, on a screen, speak during a five=party online meeting at Harumi Island Triton Square Tower Y in Tokyo Monday, June 21, 2021. The Tokyo Olympics will allow some local fans to attend when the games open in just over a month, Tokyo organizing committee officials and the IOC said on Monday. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)
Tokyo Olympics to allow Japanese fans only, with strict limits

Organizers set a limit of 50% capacity — up to a maximum of 10,000 fans

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Most Read