General News · 4th August 2015
A Whale of a Deal!
Let’s put the “town” back in Whaletown
The property at 591 Whaletown Road, where Trude’s Café used to be, is available for purchase by the community until the end of the year. The negotiated price for it is only $105,000 (its Assessed Value is over $175,000). It’s a whale of a deal for the island!
My late husband Sedley and I have envisioned a community space on that property for many years. It adjoins the Gorge Harbour Marina and is one property away from Gorge Hall – at the modern centre of Whaletown. The property is about 1.3 acres and is zoned commercial (TRC-2), so it can be used in any number of interesting ways including small scale business opportunities for locals and, if necessary in a couple of decades, the future home of a new Gorge Hall (the old one is on road allowance and has no lot).
Of course, if we can rally to acquire it, how the property would be used will be an ongoing community dialogue for years to come. I’m launching a fundraising campaign today with the support of many friends and neighbours. Our goal is to raise $140,000 to cover the purchase and deal with some early costs, and due to the generosity of people around here, we are already almost one tenth of the way to that mark.
There are lots of people to thank already, including Roger Purdy, the executor of Sedley’s estate, and Richard Glickman (owner of Gorge Harbour Marina) whose willingness to commit to purchase the property at the end of the year, if we don’t buy it, has allowed for the extended fundraising window that now exists.
We are having a visioning event on the property scheduled for Saturday August 15th from 2 pm to 9 pm with facilitated group dialogues at 3 pm and 7 pm. Please come by and learn more about the project and how you can be involved. There are also a number of fun events planned for the coming months which we will announce soon.
We aren’t fully organized yet, but in the coming weeks there will be pledge forms finished, a place to donate electronically and the other bells and whistles you would expect to see. For now, just call if you want to connect at 250 935 0193 (you’ll probably have to talk to someone else as I am more than half deaf) or email me at trude1256icloud.com. I didn’t want to wait for everything to be ready to start this dialogue with all of you, as December is coming fast and there still is a lot to do.
For me the valuable nugget here is not just in this specific project, but in the general case. Unfortunately, I think that the world will continue to get tougher on common folk, and I truly believe that we need dedicated places to come together to create true community to offset that trend. The Klahoose have a made a great place in Squirrel Cove, and now both the CNFC and the SCCA own land in downtown Manson’s, so it seems to be Whaletown’s turn to have some locally controlled land in the centre of the community.
Thanks for your support. Blessings.
July 20, 2015
I wanted to write and confirm my thanks for all you are doing for the project which I have launched. The idea of putting the lands where Trude’s Café was into community hands, is one that Sedley and I have dreamed of for the people of Whaletown for so many years. I think it is really important to have a communal space where people can gather in the centre of things.
Honestly, we wouldn’t be in the position we are without you. Not only are you participating in the fundraising efforts, but in giving your guarantee to purchase the property should our community efforts fail, you have provided the stability that the executor of Sedley’s estate felt needed in order to give us these six months to proceed. Now that we have a clear purchase price and timeline, we can make the most of this opportunity.
Okay, it’s time to spread the word - let’s all pull together and ... put the "town” back in Whaletown. In the uncertain times ahead on this planet, I fear we will need a strong community more than ever. Thanks again for all your efforts.
Trude Albright Sweeny