After five years of fundraising and getting permits, the Denman Island Community Dock officially opened last Saturday afternoon.
The Denman Island community has been without any form of small boat docking facility (either private or public) since the removal of the deteriorating 100-year-old government dock almost two decades ago.
Denman Island may have been one of the few inhabited islands in the world without a dock for small boats, the Denman Island Residents Association (DIRA) dock committee said in a news release.
DIRA held its ribbon-cutting ceremony last Saturday afternoon for the official opening of the new facility.
It will provide not only emergency access in the event of any interruption of the BC Ferry Service, but also provide the community with economic opportunities that previously were not available to this island community.
The DIRA Dock Committee headed by chair John Johnston has been working for five years to get the necessary tenure, permits, and funding needed for the project.
The $381,000 project budget was shared between three primary funding sources; Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) $118,500; West Coast Community Adjustment Program (WestCCAP) $124,188.50; and the DIRA Dock Committee $138,311.50.
The DIRA matched funding amount was comprised of community fund raising, donations of labour, materials and equipment, along with divestiture funding from Department of Fisheries of $75,000 to assist with the transfer of the Crown Land tenure from DFO to DIRA.
Smaller grants were also provided through the Comox Valley Regional District, and the Comox Valley Community Foundation.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by over 150 community members and visitors. Speakers included ICET CEO Al Baronas, Member of Parliament John Duncan representative Len Landry, CVRD Area A regional director Bruce Jolliffe, Islands Trust local Trustee David Graham and DIRA chair Frank Frketich.
The Deep Bay Auxiliary Coast Guard Crew arrived aboard their rescue vessel and the Denman Island ambulance crew also attended.
The BC Ferry Quinitsa saluted the ceremony crowd with a plume of water from its water hoses and a blast from its horns. The DIRA dock committee thanks all the residents, businesses, organizations and funders that supported the completion of this project.
— Denman Island Residents Association