The Miramichi New Conversations tour stop last night was very well attended. I counted over a hundred folks in the room. There was a lot of good discussion and testimonials and some frank, straight-talk express stuff about the challenges.
After my talk I notice a table of four ladies all in their 70s and possibly early 80s (although they would never tell) and I was quite curious as to why they were in the room. It turns out Carolyn, Elaine, Colleen and Maureen are all big advocates of immigration and have been working with their local church to attract immigrants to their community.
I had a heartfelt and uplifting conversation with the Golden Girls and came away thinking that if we could put these folks in front of prospective newcomers our changes of successful recruitment and retention would go up markedly.
Essentially we want newcomers to become Miramichiers. Sure they will put their own twist on what it means to be from the ‘Chi. They may never master the local dialect – although there were a few immigrants in the room that could slip into the subtle but distinct way of speaking. But they can and will become Miramichiers. I met several immigrants last night that had been in the ‘Chi for 20 years or more.
I think people – at least last night – get it. They want the Miramichi to thrive. Sure they have questions but that is the reason why the New Conversations tour was developed.
Carolyn, Elaine, Colleen and Maureen have not real reason to actively support immigration. They have families, hobbies and, it seems, a good life. Why bother? Because they care about more than just themselves and they enjoy working to help their community.
Bring it on.