David and Linda McWilliams

Meet the McWilliams - RCA’s first community members!

Think back to 1988 - “Faith” by George Michael was the number one song on the radio, Calgary was hosting the Olympics, and Riverbend Community was just beginning to develop and grow.

During this year, a milestone event happened for Riverbend Community Association (RCA) when residents David and Linda McWilliam purchased a lifetime membership to the RCA, marking the very first membership purchased.

The McWilliams moved to Riverbend from a small community formerly called Riverglen that laid just west of the Ogden Safeway. They loved the area and David ran his land surveying business in Riverbend, so they didn’t want to move far. When the Riverbend community was being built nearby, David and Linda couldn’t think of another place they’d rather live and retire.

Shortly after moving in, community volunteers were going door-to-door selling annual memberships. The McWilliams liked what they heard and bought lifetime membership one on the spot.

When asked why he thinks community membership is important, David said he believes every household should have one, and encourages anyone considering a membership not to hesitate. It’s a way of showing pride in your community, he said.

Over the years, David and Linda have worked at many fundraisers to help finance the construction of the community centre among other community initiatives, and they also helped set up a Block Watch program. During David’s chairmanship, about 90 per cent of Riverbend was looked after by volunteer block captains and residents were able to enjoy security and safety information nights.

While Riverbend has changed a lot in the last 31 years, the one thing that hasn’t changed for the McWilliams is its feeling of home.

However, one notable change the McWilliams have enjoyed is the addition of Carburn Park.

“We have seen a family of owls raised there for two years, numerous deer and families of geese annually. We have seen baby skunks, baby rabbits and baby beavers. We skate there and have picnicked there,” said David.

“We wouldn’t have enjoyed living anywhere else as much as we enjoy living here [in Riverbend]. Not all communities are as lucky as we are to have these natural areas so close.”