Community Center future uncertain

Published 10:23 am Wednesday, October 30, 2019

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Town council is considering taking over the operation of the Victoria-Lunenburg Community Centre after being told that without assistance it might have to close its doors.

Victoria Town Council agreed earlier this month to consider taking over the building. At its Oct. 8 meeting council decided to get with Commonwealth Attorney Robert Clement to see what the town needs to do to transfer the center to the town, the town council’s minutes said. An update on the matter is expected to be given at the council’s November meeting.

The steps were taken after Councilmember Chris Gill attended the recent Victoria-Lunenburg Community Centre board meeting, and was notified that someone needed to take over management and scheduling of the community center or they will be closing their doors, the minutes said.

Consequently, Gill offered to take the matter before the town council and suggest the town take over the center, the minutes added.

“I’d like to get anybody to take it over to tell the truth,” said Greg Elam, a town council member, and the building’s caretaker.

Located on Sixth Street, the center has been a self-supporting, private concern and staple of the community since the 1940s when it was built, Elam said.

Now, he said, “it’s about a one-man show.” And that one man is Elam, who has been the chairman of the center’s board for about 30 years, and the treasurer and booking agent for about 20 years. His sister, Irene Robertson, is the board’s secretary “and she’s been doing that quite a while,” he said.

“I’ve got to do it or get it done,” he noted.

Indeed, Elam said, when it was built, various local organizations such as garden clubs and the rotary club used the center regularly.

“That’s pretty much gone by the wayside,” Elam said.

Now, he estimates it’s used a couple of times a month and is only open for local events and festivals such as Autumn Days, and when rented such as for private parties or by organizations having dances and fundraisers. But with the floor damaged, even that use is stopped, and there’s no timeframe for when the repairs will be completed, Elam said.

Elam said he expects repairs will take a “fair amount” of money, but the center does have the funds to cover the work.