Willow Point hall storytime

The Lions Club wants the community to help get the Willow Point Hall on the city’s Heritage Register.

The Lions Club wants the community to help get the Willow Point Hall on the city’s Heritage Register.

The club, which owns and operates the hall, has been working with the city since May to get its home base on the register in order to protect it and secure funding to fix it up.

As part of the process, city staff need to see a Statement of Significance, explaining why the property has heritage value or character.

The Lions are hosting a community open house this Sunday from 1-4 p.m, at the Willow Point Hall (2165 S. Island Highway) to gather stories from the community as well as any photos, letters or even wedding certificates.

“We’ve done a ton of research on it,” said Tom McKenzie, who is leading the heritage status campaign. “I have papers that go back to 1939 such as minutes and financial records from the Willow Point Community Club’s regular meetings.”

The open house will feature a video of Willow Point in the old days as well as a slideshow.

Those attending the open house will break off into small groups to share and write down their stories revolving around the hall.

“There were dances, weddings, roller skating – all organized at the hall,” McKenzie said. “It was a busy, busy hall with dances every weekend.”

Michele Sirett, the city’s recreation and culture supervisor, said the open house will help identify what the community values about the hall, the oldest community structure left in Campbell River.

“It’s a first step to support having the hall included on the Community Heritage Register,” Sirett said in a news release.

McKenzie said the Lions hope to restore the Willow Point Hall to its former glory and having the building on the city’s Heritage Register could make that a reality by helping to secure funding from both the provincial and federal government.

The Lions would like to replace the kitchen, add a deck and move the hall back to allow for parking in front of the building.

“It needs a new roof and it needs a foundation,” McKenzie said. “Basically we want to put the hall back to what it was.”

 

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