New hall wants volunteers while ‘experts’ abound

July 20, 2014

On the Gulf Islands, things that are being created in the communities are almost always examined under an extremely strong magnifying glass. No stone is left on turned, no matter how away from the problem at hand that stone might be.

Read on:

Gulf Islands Driftwood, Pender Edition

June 7, 2000

New hall wants volunteers while ‘experts’ abound

by Tanya Lester

Criticism directed towards the community hall board has been among the administrative growing pains at the new facility.

Part of the problem seems to be that some individuals feel they know how to run the hall better than the current volunteer board.

“I haven’t met anyone who isn’t an ‘expert’ on running a community hall,” said Sandy Pearson, who sat on the hall board and is now concentrating a good chunk of his waking hours on the hall’s management committee.

He said a common mantra is “That’s not how they do it in Victoria or Vancouver or Hornby…”

Pearson recently addressed several of the concerns that have caught the ear of the Penders Edition over the last few weeks.

One concern is that the more than $80,000 donated by the Pender Island Community Service Society (PICSS) was not used for segments of the hall construction for which it was earmarked.

The donation was turned over to the hall association in three installments, with the second installment for hall doors and the third for finishing the kitchen.

Pearson said in both these cases other bills were outstanding when the money arrived.

The actual PICSS money went to pay those debts, and other money that came in later covered the expensces for doors and for the kitchen.

He said it was merely a matter of paying debts when they needed to be paid.

PICSS sees nothing wrong with how the hall society spent the money it contributed, said Sally Round, recently elected PICSS president.

Any issues of concern about how the hall society operates as a landlord for Nu-To-Yu have also been blown out of proportion by someone, according to Round.

She said it did take the hall society two months to fix the toilet at Nu-To-Yu. There was also a safety concern about the steps that needed repair.

Round called any difficulties as being the usual “ebbs and flows” in a landlord-tenant relationship and said Pearson has been “great” when problems arise.

She assured the Penders Edition that no one has been “marching in the streets.”

There is also the matter about the hall mural project that has been relocated until it is completed. Pearson explained there was worry that the plywood boards being used by the artists could hurt someone if they fell.

Others believed the artists could focus on their project better elsewhere because the second floor, where they were working, is now being used for performance rehearsals.

Pearson said it is not true that the hall board is interfering with what will go on the murals as they are not artists themselves.

He said the murals will be hung to meet safety standards in the hall when they are completed.

Another rumour is that community groups, such as the Girl Guides, have been denied access to the hall. “Everyone has been offered the hall,” said Pearson.

According to Nancy Scott, who is associated with the Girl Guides, the group has had no problems with the hall administrators. She said they continue to meet at Pender Island School because it is more convenient for them to meet there.

There may be confusion as to how to go about booking a spot at the hall…

Then there is the misunderstanding about the wedding reception. Pearson said there was a delay in responding to the parties involved because it was the hall association’s first request to use the space for a wedding. For this reason, rental rates needed to be discussed and set. The board concern was that they might be too low.

In response to requests in a survey done before the hall was constructed, Pearson said the hall will now be open for drop-in…

It is suggested that people come by the hall to spend time in the lounge, have a cup of coffee, read a magazine or play cards…

To read earlier posts in this blog, go to
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Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader by Tanya Lester can be purchased from the author or the first pages can be read & the book bought from


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