Volunteers propose to build Pender fire hall

March 13, 2016

I remember someone, who had lived on the Pender Islands in B.C.’s southern Gulf Islands for many years, telling me that just when she and her husband had decided they could not take anymore of island petty politics and untrue gossip for another day that something so special would happen, it made them decided to stay.

Probably this holds true on all of the Gulf Islands and maybe on islands everywhere. The pettiness gets under your skin and you stop witnessing what is extremely wonderful about living on a beautiful island. Then, you witness something or someone tells you something that reminds you of the up side of island living.

The following is one of these stories:

Gulf Islands Driftw00d — Pender Islands Edition

Wednesday, May 17, 2000

Volunteers propose to build Pender fire hall

by Tanya Lester

It would be an exaggeration to say that the North Pender Island Fire Protection Society has received an offer that is too good to be refused.

But a group of volunteers constructing Thieves Bay Marina has also expressed interest in building the new fire hall with volunteer labour, said fire protection society president Dave Wightman. The ideas is being seriously considered.

Ian Heslop, organizer for the marina construction currently being done by volunteers, has approached the fire society with the offer that could shave considerable dollars off the proposed $750,000 fire hall construction.

Heslop does not want the volunteer work to be done in conjunction with a contractor as he believes this takes away from the spirit of giving. He said he already has drywallers, a plumber, a roofer and carpenters lined up to contribute volunteer time.

An architect could oversee the work to ensure everything is up to standard, he said.

The fire protection board is examining how to utilize the offer based on a number of factors, while at the same time considering when to call a referendum for North Pender residents to vote on the proposal for a new fire hall.

At its meeting last Wednesday, the board decided it would cooperate with the Capital Regional District (CRD) Magic Lake Water and Sewer Subcommittee to hold a joint referendum if a late August or early September time frame can be agreed to.

“Fire protection is essential and a good water supply is essential for that,” said Wightman.

The fire protection president said the CRD subcommittee did not pinpoint its referendum date concerning Magic Lake repairs to the water system at its meeting last Friday.

According to Bruce Copeland, who is chairman of the water and sewer subcommittee, the decision was made via telephone discussions by subcommittee members late Sunday night, to hold its referendum in conjunction with the fire protection society referendum.

The referendum date must be approved by the CRD.

Meanwhile, the fire protection board has directed architect Mark Ostry from the Vancouver firm of Acton, Johnson and Ostry to come up with a revised fire hall plan based on the $750,000 proposal.

Wightman said that last Wednesday’s board meeting also determined he would write letters to any residents whose homes present restricted access for fire trucks responding to a call.

This could include any properties accessible only by water, such as Kathryn Curtis’ residence that can no longer be reached via Jack Neale’s property, as reported in the April 26 Penders Edition.

Wightman said fire truck response time is approximately 15 minutes, with a goal of 10, to an accessible residence.

He has also written a letter to Greg McDade, Pacific Marine Heritage Legacy (PMHL) special advisor, regarding the proposed Gulf Islands national park. IN the letter he reiterated fire protection society concerns that a rise in visitors to the Penders will increase the possibility of fires.

Wightman expressed the fire society’s wish to receive federal government grants in lieu of taxes now lost due to Parks Canada purchase of private properties.

At a May 6 public consultation on North Pender, McDade said grants would be provided to the fire society after a national part was given final government approval.


You can read other of the many variety posts on this blog by going to writingsmall.wordpress.com  and tealeaf56.wordpress.com

Tanya does intuitive readings (tea leaf, tarot, Russian gypsy card readings, medium and psychic channel), house sits and is a reiki master. For more information or to access these services, go to teareading.wordpress.com or to her pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Google. Or contact her directly at tealeaf.56@gmail.com or call 250-538-0086

Tanya’s books are Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader (you can purchase this book from the author or at amazon.com), Friends I Never Knew, Dreams and Tricksters and Women Rights/Writes. These books are available in some library systems and the last three are in the Provincial Library of Manitoba.



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