Heritage status sought for Willow Point fixture

The Willow Point Lions Club would like to see its home base go down in history, but it needs the community’s help to get there.

A group of Lions, headed by Tom McKenzie, want the Willow Point Community Hall put on the City of Campbell River’s Community Heritage Register, which was created in 2008.

Currently the Sybil Andrews Cottage in Willow Point is the only site on the register, but McKenzie is hoping the Willow Point Hall will be the second.

“We want to keep it as the Willow Point Hall and protect it for the public,” said McKenzie. “I’ve been contemplating doing this for 10 years now.”

In order to get on the city’s heritage register, the Willow Point Hall needs a Statement of Significance, which explains why the property has heritage value or character.

“It’s not the hall itself that is important, it’s the value it has to the community that is considered,” said Michele Sirett, the city’s recreation and culture supervisor. “It’s the tangible pieces that tell that story.”

McKenzie is hoping people will come forward with their stories and their memories of the old hall.

He knows that since it first opened its doors in 1940, there have been numerous weddings, receptions, banquets, political rallies and even church services.

“I think half the people in this town got married there,” joked Sirett.

The hall, which is owned by the Willow Point Lions Club, is routinely used for various community events, Lions Club meetings, dances, weddings and holds the Campbell River Centre for Spiritual Living’s Sunday celebrations.

Most recently, the hall made headlines when a truck smashed through the front of the building last July.

The incident forced the closure of the Willow Point Hall for more than three months.

McKenzie said the hall is typically rented out seven days a week.

He hopes through heritage status, the hall will be protected for years to come.

To share your stories about the Willow Point hall call McKenzie, 250-923-6355 or Ivan Charette, 250-923-9444.

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