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Tackling new challenges in roles

'The right time, right place, right jobs' says Gordon of her roles

Working to help others has always been in Marg Gordon's blood.

The 14-year Royal City resident recently completed her tenure as chief executive officer of the B.C. Apartment Owners and Managers Association and was looking for a job that let her continue to help others in need.

Well, Gordon found two, having been on the job as general manager of Honour House for the last three months and having started her term as a member of the New Westminster Police Board this autumn.

"It was the right time, the right place and the right jobs for me," said Gordon, who lives in the Glenbrook South area of the city. "I'm really quite excited by both jobs."

Gordon's resume is indicative of her willingness to jump into every job with all her energy. She was a Coquitlam school trustee between 1987 and 1990 and then served two terms on Port Coquitlam city council. She's also worked with the B.C. Non-Profit Housing Association.

"It was someone else's turn," Gordon said of leaving civic politics. "I don't believe in being a career politician and after two terms, I figured I'd do something else."

That something else included moving to the Royal City, in part to be closer to her mother, who lives near Lougheed Town Centre.

"I just wanted to go back to a place that had a small-town feel," Gordon said. "I picked New Westminster because it's the hub of everything in the Lower Mainland. It had SkyTrain and I can walk to work. ... Plus, I love living on the river."

Gordon made fast friends with Mayor Wayne Wright, who not only told her about the opportunity at Honour House - "I got to know Wayne well when we sat together on the rental tenancy board," said Gordon - but he told her about impending vacancies on the police board, as Karen Foss and Ron Basran had completed their terms.

"What I was impressed with, and why I wanted to get involved with the police board, is I've seen firsthand the work the police have done in tackling crime," she said.

Gordon referenced an era where walking in Downtown New Westminster was fraught with peril, but as the police have put resources toward eradicating the drug trade and petty crime in the area, improvement has come at a startling pace.

"The leadership of Wayne and the police has meant I feel comfortable walking in every part of the city," said Gordon.

And walking is no idle promise, as Gordon said her home is a 15minute walk from Honour House and she made that walk many times during the Royal City's glorious summer.

As the weather turns wintry and wet, Gordon admits she'll take her car, which means her commute is then only three minutes long.

"I feel very honoured to be able to help the people who come to stay at Honour House," Gordon said of the 509 St. George St. facility which provides free accommodation for families of Canadian Forces members and first responders while they receive medical care in Metro Vancouver. "It's an amazing place to be and I'm having a great time trying to raise more awareness about what we're doing at Honour House."

As for her police board duties, she's attended several meetings so far, and she can't contain her enthusiasm about how her term will go.

"What a great mix of people," she said. "And I know how Wayne conducts meetings. There's such an openness and everybody has the ability to contribute. I'm quite excited about everything we're going to be doing."

Gordon and Carmelita Tapia are the newest civilian members of the New Westminster Police Board, joining holdovers Rebecca Maurer and Allen Domaas.