Dear fellow members of the Pender Harbour Living Heritage Society and supporters of the Irvines Landing School renovation,
I’d like to share some good news with you: on Tuesday, January 8, 2013, John Weston, the Member of Parliament for West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country, visited the historic one-room schoolhouse on Irvines Landing Road for a brief ceremony at which he announced the federal government would provide matching dollars to restore the schoolhouse for use as a community centre and heritage site.
The funding ($49,551) for construction materials and labour comes through the government’s economic action plan and the ministry of Western Economic Diversification. What you as supporters of the project have already contributed, in donations, grants and volunteer hours, is being doubled by the federal government. Thanks to this extra funding, we are going to be able to finish the renovation by next year. Mr. Weston remarked that broad community support was a big factor in the success of our application to the federal program.
Thank you to all the volunteers and donors for the encouragement you have given to this wonderful project. Not only will it inject some welcome tax dollars into our local economy; it will also preserve a unique heritage resource for Pender Harbour residents and create a much-needed community centre for the people of Garden Bay, Irvines Landing, Daniel Point and Sakinaw Ridge.
On Tuesday, the schoolhouse was renamed the Sarah Wray Hall in honour of a courageous English woman who settled in the harbour with her husband, John, in the last years of the nineteenth century. They homesteaded on Nelson Island and created a home for their family in what was then trackless wilderness. Members of the Wray family helped build the school, Wray children attended it, and in later years Sarah’s descendants helped maintain it. It seems fitting to remember them as we give the old school a new lease on life.
Coast TV filmed the event and will air a show about it for the first time on Monday January 14 at 8 p.m. and then five times a day for a week at 9 a.m., 12 p.m., 4 p.m., 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.
MP Weston has posted pictures and comments on his website
. For more information and photos of this event please visit our website at www.penderharbourheritage.ca
Thank you for your interest.
Elaine Park, President
Pender Harbour Living Heritage Society