More people must help shoulder the load

We were alarmed to hear that the Honeymoon Bay Community Hall might be forced to close.

We were alarmed to hear that the Honeymoon Bay Community Hall might be forced to close.

It’s all due to a lack of volunteers for the Honeymoon Bay Community Society.

It’s not the first time we’ve seen such a problem in the Cowichan Valley of late.

Many of the community societies and groups that have made up such an important part of the fabric of our towns and villages have been run for many years by a small group of people.

Now those folks are getting up in years, or are simply getting tired of carrying the burden.

We’ve all taken for granted their presence and willingness to do all the work for what is sometimes decades.

It is strange to start February this year, for example, without the annual Heart and Stroke Breakfast in Duncan. But longtime volunteer Colleen Marsel finally called it quits last year; and who can blame her for wanting a break?

Who can blame any of these folks for wanting a break?

It also shows us the folly of placing all of the responsibility on the shoulders of just one, or a small number of people. It’s a recipe for it to quickly unravel when those folks inevitably must hand over the reins.

We all tend to happily go out to the fair or the tea or the movie night or the parade each summer, but we don’t often think about how much work goes into making these events happen, over and over again.

Now the longtime volunteers need some help sharing the load.

We hope they can find it.

It would be a huge shame and a huge loss for the community to lose the use of its hall and the events that have come to be synonymous with Honeymoon Bay.

These include everything from Bay Days and the fall bazaar, to meat draws and movie nights.

Community gathering places and events are essential for maintaining the sense of kinship that makes living in a small place like Honeymoon Bay so special.

Without them, there is far less chance to meet and befriend you neighbours. There’s less opportunity to share local problems and triumphs with one another, and to advocate for change when necessary, or against it if it is not wanted. Honeymoon Bay hall is not just a place, it is a gathering spot and focal point for the community.

We hope our story in last Wednesday’s Gazette laying out the problem has prompted some to consider showing up on Feb. 7 for the Community Society’s AGM with the intention of giving a little of their time to this important part of the community.