Never a dull moment in the South End…as they say, and 2008 has been no exception. My sincere thanks to the SECA Executive and the many members of the association who have been so very generous with their time and efforts on behalf of the association. As you can see from the list below, it’s been a busy year and we have continued to grow in the scope and reach of our many activities.
2008 15th Annual Miners Heritage Picnic
Our marquee event was as big and successful as ever, sponsored by local business that contributed close to $5000 that paid for a wonderful day for south end children and families.
Chase River Estuary Park Day
S.E.C.A continues to promote public awareness and use of this lovely park. Our annual celebration includes guided walks, “fishing” in the river for smelt and family bbq
SECA is tackling the litter on our streets in three ways. Our annual litter pick up, sponsored by the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange, is a one day large scale community clean up which annually collects an amazing amount of trash from our streets and lanes. In addition we have instituted a monthly, (last Saturday of the month) pick up for approximately one hour, with local restaurants hosting our breakfast gathering and then disposing of the litter collected.
Thirdly, the Art Bin Project continues to grow and develop. A recent community painting day has added a further 12 bins to the ten already located throughout the neighborhood. It’s a great little project that just keeps growing…
The SECA monthly Newsletter
Many thanks to Barbara and Larry for all their hard work in producing such a fabulous on-line newsletter and community blog. This project has really revolutionized the way we connect and share information in the neighbourhood and beyond. We also produce a hard copy for the non-computer savvy that is available at various locations in the neighbourhood
2008 South End Election Blog
The South End Community Association hosted an on-line forum for prospective mayoral and council candidates in the lead up to the recent civic elections. This innovative strategy allowed South End voters to pose questions to candidates regarding issues of concern to us. It was an excellent process that informed the voting public and raised our profile as a neighborhood association with the new administration. Many thanks to Anne Thompson and Barbara for their great work on this project
CMHA and VIHA amended their plans for the old Balmoral Hotel following widespread opposition within the neighborhood to locate the Living Room at the site. The neighborhood came out in force and was duly heard. Thanks to Councilors Diane Brennan, Merv Unger, CMHA and VIHA for responding to our concerns and we look forward to supporting and sharing in the success of the new social housing project.
Deverill Square Park Improvement Project
This project has been the cornerstone of our efforts to build upon our strengths and resources as the best way to address the social problems that persist in the neighborhood. Thanks to tremendous support from the City, the project is now well under way with new equipment being installed, floodlit soccer and lacrosse most nights of the week, $10,000 donated by the Gyro Club towards the project, $50,000 by the Rick Hansen Foundation, other fund raising pending. Many other upgrades in and around the park are planned, including a redevelopment of the Irwin / Milton barrier with a possible art installation and community bulletin board. Thanks to Kirsty MacDonald for all her efforts on behalf of Parks and Recreation.
Beer and Burger Fund Raiser
Our second annual fund raiser for the association was held just last weekend at the old Jolly Miner, now the Filling Station, and raised an astonishing $1500 dollars for the association. They have both been great events, bringing together the neighborhood as well as raising invaluable funds for the association. We are now required to carry insurance for the association at an annual cost of approximately $700, so this kind of fund raising is increasingly important.
SECA applied for and received $2000 from the City to support our activities in the neighborhood. This has been placed in our general revenue account and has contributed to recent art bin costs as well as other administration costs so far. We now have a healthy balance in the account and we can afford to fund some new projects that support our mission.
S.E.C.A. T shirts and art cards.
Yvonne vander Kooi’s Haliburton Street inspired image adorns the new and extremely popular SECA “T” shirts that have been selling like hot cakes. $20 for a T shirt and the cards sell for $3. See Sandra for details.
R.I.P. Gino Sedola
Gino passed away a couple of months ago and is sadly missed by many of us who cherished his friendship, wisdom and encouragement. He was a great champion of the South End, was enormously proud of his neighborhood, and spent his life giving to the community in a way that can inspire us all. SECA plans to honor his memory by planting a tree in Deverill Square Park
Looking Forward to 2009
Subject to final council approval we will shortly be embarking on a formal neighborhood plan for the South End. We have been working towards this for many years and it is a unique opportunity for the neighborhood to shape a vision that will guide planning and development in the south end for many years to come.
The number one concern in the neighborhood is the entrenched street level drug activity which has anchored itself in the alley between Nicol and Haliburton. SECA is committed to working closely with the RCMP and the City to address this complex problem. We are interested in hosting a forum of property owners and residents who live adjacent to the lane with a goal of addressing some of the physical characteristics of the lane that contribute to the problem. Thanks to the RCMP and By Law Services for there continued support. Our job is to continue to strive for the kind of neighborhood that promotes pride and caring as the best way to deter this kind of activity.
International Paper Industries
This company and its expanded recycling operation continues to create an intolerable noise and air pollution for those that live adjacent to it. SECA plans to renew our efforts to seek some redress for these problems in the New Year.
NEXT SECA MEETING
Wednesday January 7 at 7 PM. Princess Royal Family Centre.