Stan Lim, part-owner and manager of Bean Bag Coffee Roasters, has never seen retirement as an attractive option for himself.
“I never planned on retiring,” he said. “I’ve seen too many people retire and then they have nothing to do. As long as you can work, why not?”
Perhaps it should come as no surprise to hear that coming from a man who has been involved in a wide variety of groups and activities throughout his life.
Lim arrived in Golden in 1951, and settled here permanently in 1956. He worked for CP Rail up until 1969 and ran for council for the first of many times in 1962. Because that was right around when the Rogers Pass portion of the Trans-Canada Highway opened, Golden underwent a lot of changes during Lim’s first few years on council.
“The town was booming…at that time we had a huge building boom because there were no facilities on the highway for travellers. Hotels were almost non-existent…We had the highest value of building permits in the B.C. interior at the time,” he said.
Council kept him very busy back then, and Lim recalled having 53 meetings one year.
“We never got paid, this was all volunteer. We did it to improve the community, that’s what we ran for,” he said.
One of the initiatives that Lim pushed forward was the creation of space for community parks during the construction of new subdivisions.
“I got council to agree with me to keep two lots for a neighbourhood park…I [felt] we should have green spaces where people can go and sit and kids can have somewhere to play instead of on the street,” Lim said. One of the parks built during this initiative is now known as Kinsmen Park.
Lim also found the time to be heavily involved in many recreational pursuits, and was a long time participant in hockey, bowling and badminton. His passion for hockey led him to pursue the project that brought Golden its first indoor arena.
“I went out in the community and I got a group together of just regular people…after much discussion we decided we needed an arena because we had a lot of kids playing hockey out in the open rinks,” he said.
One day, a couple of young boys asked Lim about playing organized hockey. He decided to post a notice at the elementary school telling interested kids to meet at the outdoor rink to see what could be done.
“I think something like 300 kids showed up,” Lim laughed.
Lim helped get them all registered with the Minor Hockey Association, which also covered their insurance.
“Because of the nature of our community, with people coming in from all over, I had to get birth certificates to verify their birth from Germany, France, England, and the U.S. and Canada,” he laughed. “The kids were great, and they played well.”
Another important initiative that happened during Lim’s tenure on Town Council was an appeal for action at the Kinbasket Reservoir. Lim was one of a group of locals who petitioned for the debris to be cleaned up in the reservoir as well as the construction of several boat ramps, improvements that according to him were greatly needed.
Over the years, Lim worked in construction, both for a company and as the owner of his own small-business, before he eventually started working for his daughter at her coffee shop, the Bean Bag. When she moved on, he and his wife Patti took over the business in her place. For a man that never seemed to take things slowly, working into his eighties is a natural fit.