My family moved to Steveston when I was six years old.
Some things were a little different back then. For example, there were places we weren't allowed to ride our bikes past, such as the pool hall on Moncton and the strip joint on Third Avenue.
The cannery stunk so bad in the summer that anyone who wasn't a local would turn green and search for the nearest garbage can.
There were ditches on every street. And the gnarly old fishermen still came off the boats to grab a meal at one of the greasy spoons or to have a shower at the community centre.
Some things in Steveston haven't changed, like the building I work in. Our clinic is located in a heritage building that has been sitting in the exact same location since 1912.
This month we are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of our business, which means I have also been writing this article for nearly a decade.
I don't know how the time flew by so quickly. It seems like a long time to me, but 10 years in the life of a building that recently celebrated its 100th birthday is just a drop in the bucket.
For anyone who has visited our clinic, you know that we have a vintage telephone in the waiting room. It is there to pay homage to the building's original role as the Steveston Telephone Exchange.
In 1891, the New Westminster and Burrard Inlet Telephone Company installed the first telephone in a Steveston home and by 1912 there were 12 subscribers. Our building became one of the two exchanges that operated in Richmond from 1914 to 1954.
Just last week, a woman who used to work in our building as an operator came in to see us. In the early years, for the houses that didn't have phones, a runner had to be sent to inform the resident that a call was holding at the exchange for them.
I like to imagine people rushing to the office to talk to their relatives or do business.
All of the women who have come in to tell us about their time as an operator in our building smile fondly as they remember it.
After most homes had telephones, the exchange was closed and our building was converted into a residential home.
One of the home's residents now lives across the path from us and she still helps us with the gardening.
Eventually, the building was converted back into an office for the United Fishermen's and Allied Worker's Union. This started the period of its next important role in the Steveston community.
In official heritage documents, the building is referred to as the Bill Rigby Memorial Building. That name is in honour of William Rigby, who was the first secretary treasurer and welfare director of the UFAW Union.
Rigby was the driving force behind achieving unemployment insurance, national health insurance and worker's compensation for fishermen and cannery workers in Steveston.
Also of historical significance is that the union made a formal recommendation, amidst racism and discrimination, to the minister to grant fishing rights to Japanese fishermen wanting to return to the community after their internment during World War II.
Now, the building is known as Satori, which is a Japanese word that means enlightenment. The spirit of communication, community, service and advocacy still lives in the building.
I look forward to both the building and our business being around for many more decades, so everyone in Steveston can continue to remember fondly the little white house at the intersection of No. 1 Road and Chatham. We, at Satori, would like to thank everyone who has helped make our first 10 years such a great experience.
Danielle Aldcorn, BSW, MA, is a registered clinical counsellor at Satori Integrative Health Centre.