Lions’ Club asking to put storage shed at Rollo McClay

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, March 7 2017

The Gabriola Lions Club has made a request to place a storage building at Rollo McClay Community Park, adjacent to the Gabriola Recreation Society portables.

Regional District of Nanaimo staff have been directed by the RDN Board to investigate the feasibility of the request, and what options are available.

The Gabriola Lions Club does not currently own or control any buildings or real estate.

To date, the Lions Club has been using a portion of the goat barn at the Commons, as well as the garages and storage spaces in members’ homes.

Doug Cavill, representing the Lions Club, presented the request to the Gabriola Parks and Open Spaces Advisory Committee (POSAC), saying the Club is hoping to locate all its assets used throughout the year at a single location.

The Gabriola Lions Club owns folding chairs, collapsible tables, a hygienic wash station, two barbeques and several tents which, with the exception of the Annual Concert on the Green and pancake breakfasts, are loaned to other Gabriola clubs and organizations. 

In addition, the Club owns a hospital bed and an electric motor scooter that it loans out at no charge to enable Gabriolans with medical conditions to recover in their own homes. 

The Club holds meetings in the training room at the Albert Reed Memorial Fire Hall but, as Cavill said, “We’re somewhat homeless except for some space we use at the Commons.”

The idea is to put a building down at Rollo, but to make sure it is a building that, if needed, could be moved to another location if required by either the RDN or the Club.

Whether that means a sea container (properly screened of course to meet Islands Trust bylaws), or another type of construction, is still to be determined.

The Club had talked with the Recreation Society, but the portable at Rollo is still actively used for programming.

Cavill said, “What we’d ask for is some space inside the gate [off Richie].

“We’d put in a solar light system, wouldn’t need any electrical, all we’re asking for is space, put in a concrete pad.”

He said other locations, such as the fire department property and the Gabriola Community Health Centre, were discussed, but were not possible sites.

The proposed building would have around 200 square feet for storage.

Funds to build the storage shed would come from the Lions’ administrative account, which comes from members’ dues, and fees charged for the loaning of equipment.

Labour for the construction would be from members and volunteers.

Cavill said he knows the RDN may not want to open the doors to all organizations putting up buildings at Rollo or other parks on Gabriola, but said that the Lions are unique for a Gabriola organization.

“The Lions Club exists for the sole benefit of the citizens of Gabriola and the island’s charitable organizations.”

Elaine McCulloch, RDN Parks Planner for Gabriola, said she is looking into the options for the request and will provide a verbal update at the next Area B POSAC meeting which is currently scheduled for May 15 from 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. at the Gabriola Arts Centre.