Our last newsletter appeared in February and here we are, in the blink of an eye, already in May!
So lots to report but I’ll start with the sad news of the deaths of two former directors of the Hall. Charles Wilson served two years on the board before ill health curtailed his involvement and we benefitted from his acute business sense as well as his equanimity. He will be missed and our sincerest condolences go to his wife, Karen.
And Gail Lund has been a champion of the Hall (and so many other island causes and organizations) for decades. She was an iconic figure, beloved by so many and her loss is grieved by the whole community. Her contribution to the musical life of Gabriola was enormous and will leave an imprint for years to come. The Community Hall was dear to Gail’s heart; the benefit concerts she organized helped to replenish our depleted coffers and the equipment she donated enriched the experience of all Hall users. Her presence at board meetings (punctuated by smoke breaks, huddled in her car) contributed wisdom, humour and the courage to broach topics others preferred to avoid. In recognition of all that Gail has meant to the Hall and Gabriola, the board of directors has decided to name the stage being built as part of the Outdoor Gathering Space in her honour.
Speaking of which, the project for the Outdoor Gathering Space is progressing nicely and on schedule. On April 22nd, the board attended a presentation by project manager, Laura-Jean Kelly, principal of Topographics Landscape Architecture, of potential sites on the property and ideas for the structure itself. As the project becomes more tangible, the excitement rises and ideas begin to flow. The next steps will include the formation of a committee comprising several board members together with local architects, engineers, construction managers etc, who will evaluate sites and building designs with a view to making recommendations to the board. Once the choices have been finalized, detailed construction drawings will be prepared and the community will be invited to an open house to view the designs.
Below is one of the perspective drawings prepared by Cameron Murray of Topographics showing the view of one of the potential sites as seen by the public. However, I must emphasize that nothing has been finalized and this is only one of three scenarios.
On to more routine matters, the Hall is almost back to normal with rental capacity numbers and with the lifting of the mandates for masks and proof of vaccination, which are now left to the discretion of individual renters. However, we know that things can change very quickly and are monitoring the situation closely.
We want to personally wish Robert Stutzman all the best in his new ventures off island. Robert was always so generous to the Community Hall with prizes and sponsorships at the Salmon Barbecue. He was such a giving member of the community and he will be sorely missed.
Regarding the annual Salmon BBQ, we will be making a decision shortly on the format that this will take – either scaled down or full-on, we’ll let you know.
Two upcoming activities at the Hall to watch out for are the Ukraine Fundraiser on Saturday, May 7th, starting at 5pm as well as the Friends of the Library Book Sale on June 4th and 5th. Both worthy events deserving of your support.
Finally, a very belated thank you to Phil Claxton who was such a big help when we organized a wood sale before Christmas with timber from downed trees. Thank you, Phil!
Thanks for your attention, and now it’s time to get out and enjoy the sunshine!
Joyce Babula, President
On behalf of the Board of Directors