The expression “you can’t go home again” certainly doesn’t ring true for a number of former Powell Riverites returning to their hometown in recent years.
Jacque Cramb (now Chalmers) grew up in Townsite and graduated from Max Cameron High School in the 1980s. She left to pursue nursing at Cariboo College (now Thompson Rivers University) in Kamloops, where she met her husband Rob. He was studying to become a respiratory therapist.
The two moved to Vancouver for a few years, then back to Rob’s hometown of Kamloops to raise their two sons. They spent lots of time visiting Powell River over the years, where Jacque’s parents and brothers still live.
“Kamloops was a great place to raise kids,” said Jacque. “But we always talked about, one day when we retired, moving here.”
When real estate prices on the Upper Sunshine Coast started to climb, the Chalmers decided to make the move sooner rather than later. Their sons, now adults, live in Vancouver and Cape Cod, Massachusetts.
“The chances of our kids returning to Kamloops were so remote, that gave us the freedom to make a move and try something different,” she said.
They purchased a house and Jacque moved to Powell River in February. Rob joined her in June after retiring from his career as a firefighter. Since arriving, the couple have kept busy kayaking, hiking, cycling and trying out the local restaurant scene and brewery.
“I made a list in the spring of 10 outings and 10 different food places I wanted to try here,” she said. “We made sure we worked through that.”
Growing up in Powell River, Jacque was involved in local music programs, figure skating and soccer. She is currently reconnecting with many old friends.
“I’ve had a lot of people who I went to school with that stayed,” she said. “I certainly can relate to that. There’s always been that pull to come back.”
Having Rob take to the community so quickly has been gratifying, she added.
“He’s out mushroom hunting, playing hockey, he just fits right in and is totally acclimatized,” she said. “He said the other day, ‘It’s like I’ve always lived here.’ That makes me so happy.”