The Golden Girls helping to attract newcomers

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.

2 thoughts on “The Golden Girls helping to attract newcomers

  1. Offtopic for today’s post but relevant to your interests:

    I don’t know if you’ve ever spent any time on Reddit, but there are several local subforums there.

    There’s always been a few questions from outsiders about living in NB, i.e. I’m about to get transferred to SJ where are the good schools/ nice neighbourhoods etc.

    But over the last year or so, there has been a huge increase in questions from people in expensive Canadian cities asking about the viability of relocating to NB. Will I find work, are the house prices really that low, what’s the cost of living etc.

    You seem to like to keep your ear to the ground for anecdotal stuff as well as hard data so I thought this might interest you.

  2. Great discussion last night. I’d love to know these ladies! There are a few informal “cheerleading” groups around. Last summer I led a group to create a diversity float for the Canada Day parade. We called it Celebrate Diversity – #WeAreMiramichi
    The group is still on facebook.
    There was also a grassroots group formed to sponsor and settle Syrian Refugee families. The Miramichi Refugee Support Team.
    Tonight I am speaking on Social Enterprise with the local WOMEN network.
    It is a time of transformational change in Miramichi. It is a great time to get together and decide which way to drive it, and engineer our own future. This dialog on immigration was fantastic. Conversations on many important topics are starting and it is a very exciting time to be a Miramichier.

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