LETTER: This is our chance

Dear Editor:

Bowen Islanders, this is your chance to bring home a community centre to our island.

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Long overdue! 

After so many years of work and effort by so many dedicated people, we now have the chance to build a facility that will truly bring the word “community” to our island. In this time of COVID-19, I think we are appreciating even more than ever our little island and how important “community” is to all of us. A community centre will enhance our island in so many ways. It will be a gathering place for us to meet and chat, a place to recreate, a place to experience cultural events. With the likelihood of many more people working from home, a community centre becomes even more important as people will need to reach out to have those social connections that they may no longer have in the workplace.

Yes, the centre will have the municipal hall––something I have not always supported but it makes economic sense to bring it into one facility and to use that rent money to pay ourselves.  Yes, there are other issues on the island requiring financial investment and there always will be.  We now have almost $8 million from the two governments.  If we say no on the referendum,  I do not believe that we will have opportunities to receive a grant like this in the near future. Yes, there are people who say this is too expensive for our small island and yes, if we had built this maybe 30 years ago, we might have volunteers stepping forward to build something much more modest. But, I believe we have moved past that phase on Bowen Island. We are our own community but we are also a suburb with a wonderful mix of families, many commuters, retired types––and we need something more than just a large barn structure. We need something that we will be proud of, that will attract off islanders to our cultural events and performances, as well as provide a community space for all of us who live here. 

Let’s make this happen––please vote “yes” on Sept. 12.

If you wish more information, visit the community centre website – www.ourislandplace.com  

Nerys Poole



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