Letter: On Houle’s response to Community Hall presentation

Tuesday, October 3 2017

I was surprised and disappointed by the vitriolic personal attack on Richard Strachan by Howard Houle. A person who is committed enough to give a good deal of his time and effort to gain public support for a community institution as important as the Community Hall should be given more respect. I don’t believe Mr. Strachan is a “bully” in any sense of the word.

Of all the institutions on the island that deserve tax funding, surely the Community Hall should be on the top of the list. It is the heart of the community. Over the years it has brought the community together for concerts, pre-school classes, activities and special events of all kinds. A small dedicated group has taken on the management of the hall; they have worked hard to raise money to do required maintenance through the Salmon BBQ and hosting other special events. Gabriola is blessed with a small army of community-minded volunteers who have figured largely in the building and/or operation of our health clinic, fire halls, GIRO, GALTT, PHC, Commons…the list goes on. Where would we be without them?

But they can’t do it all. The fairest arrangement for the support of truly important community institutions is through taxes. That way everyone contributes, even people who contribute little or nothing otherwise, for various reasons. In a list of institutions worthy of public support, the Community Hall should follow “schools.”

Let’s give Mr. Strachan credit and respect for doing a difficult, thankless job to gain support for, arguably, the most important community institution on the island.  

~ E.M. Gavin