Dear Editor:

What a treasure of a house we have in Invermere – and it is sitting idle. It is the stately looking building, for sale, coming down the hill on Athalmer Drive.

We are known as a peaceful community. I propose we bring this peace to others through a network of Conversation Houses. Canadians are the peacemakers. In this technological world, our conversations are done so remotely with no face-to-face interaction and are often adversarial. What we dont see enough of, is a place for good people to gather in an atmosphere of safety, seclusion and style to converse and connect, to share ideas and create innovative solutions pertinent to humanity today, such as the concepts presented in How to Resolve Conflict with Nonviolent Communication by world renown Dr. Rosenberg. I am suggesting that Invermere is the perfect place for folks from all walks of life (leaders, innovators, elders, youth) to connect at a Conversation House.

Why this building? It is solid, elegant, well-built construction done by a master European builder evident as soon as you walk in. The second story has accommodation, with five bedrooms with jacuzzi tubs, soundproofed from each other for privacy, and a conversation area in the centre for sharing.The main floor has long, elegant dining room table worthy of any conversation, spacious living room for sitting or milling around in ease of conversation. There are two additional bedrooms that could be repurposed. The kitchen is extensive and perfect for catering. The bottom level (walkout) is conducive to technology such as large television screen for Skype-like conference calling. There are bedrooms that could be utilized for computers, resource material, offices, etc. The huge garage could be a display/shop area.There are pathways leading to the lake and beach.The new community centre would be a great compliment for larger gatherings or vice versa.The house is a good location for this purpose, as with any educational centre.

At last years brain storming session for local development, a young lady suggested Invermere would make a great university site. That idea makes sense. Currently the valley is very busy in the summer and not so much in the winter. Employment is harder to find. Places of learning tend to fill up the winters. This proposed Conversation House could be part of this education system.

I hope this idea raises your interest. Lets have a community conversation about the Conversation House concept.

Iris Meehan