For Pete Valk, it’s all about being in a small community.
“I’ve always like small communities. You build better relationships,” Valk said.
Valk’s parents arrived in Smithers from Holland when he was just a baby.
“Smithers was such a great place to grow up. We used to do a lot of rafting as kids,” Valk said.
“But it sure has changed since then.”
In 1980, Valk had the opportunity to come to Fort St. James.
“I got a job working as an operations manager with the Ministry of Forests,” Valk said.
And since then, he hasn’t looked back.
He has now been married to his wife, Florence for 49 years and the couple raised two children who still reside in the Fort.
“This was actually our fourteenth move before we decided to settle here,” Valk said.
“The choice was ours to make and I’m glad we did.”
Valk is currently the Director of Integris Credit Union in Fort St. James, director of Fort St. James Community Foundations and also of Stuart Lake Coop Housing.
He has also volunteered for Search and Rescue missions in the area.
For Valk, it’s all about giving back to the community.
“The one thing about Fort St. James is that it’s a place that offers new opportunities and the people are so adaptable,” Valk said.
“If there is ever a negative, there’s always a positive that comes out of here.”