By Susan Hulland

The Crawford Bay and District Hall and Park Association will hold its Annual General Meeting on November 26, 2019 at 7pm at the hall, and we invite you to attend. At present the board consists of six directors, several of whom have served for many years, and in the case of our recently retired chair John Edwards, for several decades! Members of the 2019 board acknowledge that our hall needs to have work done on it. To find out why the building needs to be renovated, please plan to attend this meeting. You will learn about our initial investigations and some of the required testing that has been completed thus far. You will hear about the progress we have made and the obstacles we face regarding funding. 

The Crawford Bay & District Hall & Park Association needs help and the best way to help us is to join us. We understand that not everyone wants the responsibility of becoming the director of a non-profit society.  But if you are willing to do so, the primary requirement is that you reside within the hall’s property tax levy catchment area which includes all of Crawford Bay and along Highway 3A south to and including 15399 Wilmot Road, Pilot Bay, and Kootenay Bay north to and including 562 Riondel Road. 

You do not have to be a property owner to become a director but you do need to be available to  attend monthly meetings. Basic computer skills would be an asset as we now conduct some of the association’s business via the internet. Above all else we need dedicated directors who can commit their time to helping with the responsibilities of looking after the public assets that belong to all of us.  

You do not have to be a director to contribute to the maintenance and operation of our public assets. In fact, you do not even have to care about the hall itself, as we also administer the Crawford Bay Park and the Kootenay Bay Boat Launch. Perhaps your interests lie there.  Residents from neighbouring communities are welcome to lend a hand by serving on one of our sub-committees, too.  

Three properties are a lot for one association to look after!  Current directors are Helene Carter, Gina Medhurst, David Wells, Rand Kellock, Nicole Schreiber and Susan Hulland.  If you have questions prior to the meeting, you are welcome to contact us.  Anyone can attend this meeting even if you are just curious about what the heck is going on with the Crawford Bay Hall.  And, it will be a great chance to meet up with your neighbours and enjoy refreshments made by our faithful booking agent, Kathy Donnison.  We hope to see you on November 26 at 7pm at the hall. 

Some Background About the Community Hall

The Crawford Bay Women’s Institute organized local residents to tend to the needs of the first community hall and school which was built in 1910 and located on Crawford Creek Road.  

The present-day hall was built in 1938. Despite difficult economic times, area residents raised $500 (close to $9,000 in 2019 dollars!) to construct the building. Dozens of men donated their labour and the Women’s Institute held fundraisers for appliances and furnishings. 

The 4,000 square foot building was located on property owned by the Board of Education, near the second Crawford Bay School which had opened in 1919. That building is now the Kootenay Lake Community Church.

The hall was administered under a cooperative agreement between the government and the board. This mutually beneficial relationship prevailed after the third Crawford Bay School opened in the 1940’s and continued up until the present-day school opened in 2009. By then the school was attached to the community hall by a breezeway. 

When the school was demolished in the mid-1990’s the hall was left standing alone, facing an uncertain future. After almost a decade of negotiations with the Ministry of Education the association purchased the property under and around our community hall in 2017. 

Over the past eighty-one years the hall hosted many events including: fall fairs, fundraisers, political rallies, potlucks, dance classes, games nights, public health meetings, music nights, theatre productions, sports tournaments, weddings, funeral teas, dances, and private parties. The building was a ‘home base’ for groups such as Crawford Bay Cubs, Scouts, Guides and Brownies and for several years Eastshore Soccer League games were played on its grounds. 

Today the building is home to the East Shore Youth Group and the Helping Hands Day program. What would the holiday season be without the Bevy of Angels Christmas Christmas Fair?  And let’s not forget, the roof of our heritage hall is where Santa lands his sleigh during our Community Potluck Christmas Dinner.

Events such as these bring local residents together and help to define the tone of our community.  Improving our hall will only increase options for more good things like these to happen.  

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