The Merville Hall will host a planning meeting for the hamlet’s centennial in 2019.

Celebrating a centennial in Merville

In April 2019, the Merville Soldiers’ Settlement community will be 100 years old, and it’s time for a birthday party.

But first we have to organize it, right?

On Thursday, March 29, the Merville Hall will be open for the first meeting for the planning of the event. From 7 to 8 p.m., the Merville Community Association Board will go over plans for renovating the three-acre site to get it ready for the big centennial celebration in October 2019.

We will be forming committees to take on various aspects of the project. Committees will range from site construction and landscaping to communications, to inviting a member of the British Royal family to attend. There will be lots of room for anyone who would like to sign up and get involved. You can even make up your own committee if you think that we have forgotten something.

The Big Yellow Merville hall and grounds, sitting in the geographic middle of Merville, is the ideal venue to host the celebration. The three-acre site, which has served the community well for over 70 years, includes the large, yellow community hall, two heritage buildings (a 103-year-old church and a manse), a playground and a large field.

Capital costs for the upgrades are estimated to be $200,000 and will include:

· redoing the kitchen to VIHA standards, building an accessible ramp and kitchen entrance

· renovating the stage, PA system, lighting and canteen

· restoring the two heritage buildings to create a heritage theme and added space for rentals

· developing heritage storyboards to capture the rich history of the area

· landscaping the greenspace and creating a sustainable gardening operation

· building a small timber frame shed to store antique farming and logging equipment

· installation of solar panels

This expansion is anticipated to provide a number of benefits such as additional revenue, local employment, facilities and community participation. The MCA, while applying for grants, is also developing a community fundraising program targeting individuals and organizations to provide cash and contribution-in-kind. It also seeks committee members to plan and organize operations and skilled contractors to complete projects. Fundraising site: http://mervillehall.ca/donate/.

Inquiries regarding this project should be directed to Craig Freeman at 250-339-4249 or Peter Smith at 250-941-7792 or seabankmars@shaw.ca

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