I heard about an event on the radio that I felt absolutely compelled to attend. The fundraiser was for “YES”, Victoria Youth Empowerment Society. For $30 you pick out a bowl of your choice made by local artists and then you use that bowl to try soup created by Master Chefs. The money raised provides emergency shelter, life skills, health care, mental health, detox services, counseling and assists youth to transition from high risk environments like the street to healthier and more constructive life situations. I invited 5 people to come with me. No one was able to go so I went by myself.
It was held at Inn at Laurel Point. I had never been there before. After paying my admission, I was sent into the bowl room. There were at least 4 tables filled with beautiful hand-crafted pieces, all different shapes, sizes, styles, designs and colours. I picked up the first one that caught my attention and held on to that one until I found a second that spoke to me more. Then I found my bowl on the second table. I didn’t have to look further because I knew this was the one for me. I was then given a bag to put my bowl in because this year they were serving soup in the hotel bowls instead.
There were 3 soup choices. I had the seafood chowder. It was delicious. Huge chunks of salmon, clams, white fish (maybe halibut) potatoes and carrots. I had 2 bowls. There was also tomato basil with little bite sized grilled cheese sandwiches that people put on top as croutons. The third choice was vegetable mulligatawny.
I took my bowl and walked into a lovely room that overlooked the ocean. It was a beautiful sunny day so I decided I wanted to look out the window. I perused the round tables that seated about 12 but decided to stand up and eat at a higher table. As soon as I placed my bowl down on the table a gentleman came over and asked if he could join me for lunch. He introduced himself as Frank and I told him my name. He was wearing what I thought was a military dress uniform and he was wearing a poppy.
I have never had such an enjoyable conversation with a man in a very long time. We were fully engaged with each other, laughing and joking for at least 20 minutes. We showed each other our bowls and why we chose them. His had a very manly, deep dish shape with a beautiful chestnut, brown glaze. It was gorgeous. He had also never been to this event. He is originally from BC on the mainland but he just moved back here from Sudbury, Ontario, 2 years ago, where he plans to retire. I am from Ontario so we talked about life back east versus west coast. He has two daughters, as do I. They are ages 22 and 14 (similar in age and gap as my girls). His older daughter stayed back east to finish up university. This is her last year and she will have a teaching degree in French and PhysEd. He went to Western University (as did I) to get his Masters degree. We talked about Western and he stated, “So you are one of the Western babes.” “Well, yes I am I confirmed laughing.” There used to be ratings of the hottest girls at university and when I went to Western, and when Frank did, too, it was ranked number 1 (it clearly had nothing to do with me) but it had this reputation. Frank said he suggested to his daughter that she attend Brescia College, the all girls school affiliated and on the campus of Western University. He said she would have nothing to do with that. I told him that was good because it is the last place he would want his daughter because that is where all the guys hang out. He laughed and said that he never thought about it being a magnet for men. His wife was a teacher in Ontario but when they moved here she got a job at UVic critiquing student teachers.
While we were talking people would come up and shake Frank’s hand and say “hi” to him. He had on a name tag but I couldn’t read it as it was on the opposite side of me and we were standing side by side. Another man came to our table while were just starting to talk about Hawaii and shook his hand and asked if he could eat with us. He was a Victoria city councilor and commented to Frank that he was happy to see him two days in a row. He introduced himself to me as Chris and when I told him my name he said, “I know who you are.” He definitely does not know who I am. We have never met before. I just stared at him and he said, “I can’t remember where but we have met.” Nope, we haven’t. He then started name dropping and as he was taking away my new friend from me I was able to look at Frank’s name tag. Frank Elsner, Chief of Police, Victoria Police Department.
I stayed for a little bit longer at the table and then excused myself. There was a raffle, live auction, silent auction, dessert trays, coffee and tea, and booths to buy bowls, pottery, cards and other art work. I had a thoroughly enjoyable time, helped a great cause that I didn’t know existed (last year they raised $80,000 and this was their 18th year of the event) and I will definitely attend next year as well.
9 thoughts on “Souper Bowl”
Had you invited me, I would have gone. I was hoping this was going to lead to a potential relationship…
I’m so glad you had fun. I wish I could find that kind of event.
Thank you for your hope for me! I wish you were here to go with me, too. It is still the start of a relationship. Definitely could be beneficial to have the chief of police as my friend, especially because my ex and the other woman complained to Vic PD about my blog and a second time accusing me of vandalizing her car. If he wasn’t married I would love to see him again but I have no interest in pursuing a married man other than to just enjoy his company on a strictly platonic basis with a bunch of people around us. I’d be happy to get to know his wife, too.
Nothing better for the soul than soup… Pardon the cliche.
Its nice that the community can come together to support under funded programs.
I do have to ask… Whats wrong with being alone for awhile? Seems you have a lot of unresolved ‘ junk’ in your life. You would just be dragging that junk into another relationship… Having to explain why people are making police reports about you and the negativity attached to all of it.
You are still married correct? Howndoesnthat work into conversation? All I know is I would be running and running the other way if i met someone and they were still married. Thats unfinished business.
Whats wrong with a time out? Let the marriage finish before investing yourself into another human being… How about investing time in yourself.
And I know you will say… ‘ i am not seeking a relationship but if something comes along… Blah blah’ if I could give you a solid…. It would be not to get involved with anyone for two years. Friends sure. Dates no.
A few years out from your divorce and you will have a different perspective on all of this. I dont know you but if you blog reads true then you have a lot of unresolved emotions and unfinished business. If you chose someone new into your life should it not be fresh and without burden of unresolved feelings.
Just some advice. Take it or leave it. But a few years out a lot of what angers you and or tugs at your heart strings will fade. It needs a natural progression and healthy one at that. People /men can distract you… Make u think you are doing ok. And you are not. From what I can read anyway. And i mean that in a genuine way. You had your foundation ripped out from under you. Its the biggest betrayl and often harder than a death of a spouse. You are still married. Might be only paper… But so is a birth certificate… Its a symbol of something that you were committed to and involved in legally and emotionally. Like the birth of your child… You dont need the paper to tell you it was a huge event, emotional and life changing. The paper is only a legal symbol.. Statistics. You are still married. Andyou need to finish that.
I agree 100%. I have been separated now since March 1, 2013. Coming up on 3 years and I am so not interested in a serious relationship. I really am not. Nice to have people, male and female, interested in spending time with me and it is so nice for me to enjoy the company of others and have an amazing time when I get to go out but there is no room for anyone in my life right now. My priority is my children and me. That is it. I have a 5-year plan in my mind. I don’t even want to stay in this city. I am working on finalizing the end of my marriage and the legal procedures, ridding myself of any possessions and being as liquid and free as I possibly can be. I don’t want a relationship or anything tying me down. I am not attaching to anything or anyone. I also love my alone time!!!!!!
Glad you have the Victoria Police Chief as a friend……btw did you read the new about him from today??
Rob Shaw / Vancouver Sun
December 6, 2015 11:49 AM
Victoria police chief Frank Elsner says he’s ashamed and humiliated by his own actions after exchanging inappropriate messages with the wife of a subordinate officer.
Victoria’s police chief says he’s ashamed and humiliated by his own actions after exchanging inappropriate messages with the wife of a subordinate officer.
Frank Elsner told The Vancouver Sun on Sunday he was the subject of a recent internal police board investigation over his conduct, but has emerged with the continued confidence of the board and intends to address the department and continue leading the force.
“I’m humiliated beyond words,” he said.
He said he’s also spoken to his officer, whose wife was involved, and his family about the incident.
“I’m ashamed of my actions,” said Elsner. “I’m better than that. I know better than that. And I think part of this, the learning opportunity, is that you stand up and tell the truth and learn from it and move on.”
Elsner has led the Victoria force for almost two years. He’s married with two daughters, and said his wife has been fully aware of what happened.
In September, he said the civilian police board became aware of an allegation against him.
“An allegation was made against me that based on direct messages off of Twitter that I had an inappropriate relationship with a female. The board notified me of that and they hired an independent lawyer to do the investigation. The investigation was completed and on last week I was notified and they found that there was no inappropriate relationship. However, I should not have engaged in the direct messages in the first place and I fully agree.”
The woman is a police officer in a neighbouring department. Her husband works within VicPD under Elsner’s command.
“When this first broke he and I spoke and he said he believed that no relationship took place,” said Elsner. “There was none.”
But it was “the tone” of the conversations that was wrong, he said.
“I know it was, because I shut it down. I’m the one that said, ‘No we cannot communicate any further.’ Months before it came to light.”
The board’s investigation concluded Friday.
Board co-chair Barb Desjardins initially tried to sidestep The Sun’s questions about whether any investigation had been done.
Instead, she repeatedly stated: “there’s no investigation at this time” and “there are/were no formal complaints put forward.”
But within 24 hours she was forced to clarify her comments and admit an investigation had occurred.
“There has been an investigation and that has been dealt with, completed, and the board is in full support of the police chief,” said Desjardins on Saturday.
The mayor would say little else, refusing to identify the allegations or whether Elsner was disciplined by either her or Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps.
Mayor Helps, who is the deputy co-chair, deferred to Mayor Desjardins, who is the lead co-chair of the civilian board.
“It’s not fair to an investigation that is confidential to have it out in the media,” Desjardins said in an interview Saturday.
Elsner also said whether he was disciplined is a private matter, but the incident is now on his personnel file.
B.C.’s Police Complaints Commissioner confirmed it received an internal investigation report from the Victoria police board.
Commissioner Stan Lowe, who is the civilian watchdog that oversees police conduct issues, will review the report and has the power to order his own investigation if he identifies issues that are matters of public trust, said deputy commissioner Rollie Woods.
Elsner came to Victoria after serving as chief of the Greater Sudbury Police Department, as well as with the RCMP and Ontario Provincial Police.
Victoria’s civilian police board is responsible under law for oversight of the force. But Desjardins said it had no obligation to explain to the public what happened in this case.
“The whole thing about personnel matters is that the personnel be given fair opportunity and fair discussion,” she said. “There is no disclosure unless it’s a public trust matter.”
“The matter has been resolved to the board’s satisfaction,” she said, adding “the board is very happy with this chief.”
Victoria mayor Helps referred questions to Desjardins.
Desjardins had on Saturday decried “rumours” about the chief’s personal conduct circling within the department, and warned the both the public and officers within the force from spreading what she considers misinformation without speaking to her or filing an official complaint.
“They are not talking to me at this time about this rumour. But I’m really frustrated.”
“We all want what’s best for the force,” added Desjardins.
“We all need to deal with the facts and the appropriate ability to investigate and resolve issues.”
Elsner said he is “nesting and reconnecting” with his family.
“My wife’s been aware of this investigation from the start. In fact she was aware of this when I shut the thing down I told her about it at the time because it was just so stupid. This has been an incredibly difficult time for me but I want to acknowledge difficult for all the people involved. I take full responsibility for my actions, no caveats. And the board accepted that and we’re moving on together.”
The Victoria Police Department has suffered through several years of high-profile, embarrassing, issues involving its police chiefs.
Former chief Jamie Graham, who retired in 2013, was disciplined after publicly revealing an undercover officer had been the driver of bus filled with anti-Olympic protesters before the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. He was also found in neglect of duty after leaving his loaded service pistol under the seat of his unmarked vehicle in the Victoria department’s parkade. Graham had previously served as Vancouver’s police chief.
Prior to Graham, the Victoria department was headed by Paul Battershill, who was forced to resign in 2008 after an affair with a police board lawyer and a rebellion by several senior staff who had lost confidence in his leadership and refused to work with him.
Victoria’s police board was sharply criticized at that time for its slow handling of the Battershill case and apparent obliviousness to deep discontent within the rank and file.
Ultimately, Victoria taxpayers were left in the dark about allegations against Battershill for more than a year because they were a deemed a confidential “personnel matter.”
Your sin will find you out.
Do you think he did shut it down before it lead to anything and do you think he really went to his wife about it to confess his conduct or did he just get caught?
Do you think he is a better man than you are or do you think he is just like you?
Do you feel badly at all for his wife and kids or does this just make you so happy because you feel like it just proves all men are like you. You certainly seem to feel happy to point this story out to me.
Just keeping you up to date on local news. As to the rest….I can’t comment as it doesn’t relate to me.
It all relates to you. You might want to hide your head in the sand and pretend that it doesn’t but you are part of the problem. When you contribute to society in a negative manner and condone, allow, support, turn a blind eye, continue the behaviour, do nothing about it and worse infect other people with your behaviour, you help turn our city into another Sodom and Gomorrah. Would anyone plead to save our city, our world? Is there not one righteous person here or someone who will stand up and say this is wrong and do something different? Just like the gun violence in the States. It is all too common place that it starts to mean nothing. Sad, what can you do about it, too hard to change people, don’t want to give up our guns or our sex with whoever we want. It is just another day, another cheater, another family destroyed, another figure abusing their position, another life lost someone else’s problem because you don’t want to think it relates to you. When did you turn so numb?
Its hard to point the finger at ones self and I think Sluty did the typical thing…. Justified behavior or attempted to minimize her and Humpys own. Not new. And very typical.