Editor, The Times:
Re: “Let’s set the record straight for Upper Clearwater,” March 3 issue.
This is in answer to those who think that the Upper Clearwater Farmers’ Institute Hall (formerly thought of as the Upper Clearwater Community Hall) will close without access to the grant-in-aid subsidized by local taxpayers.
I expect this is a bluff by the executive, in an attempt to garner public support to their cause.
After a few years of lengthy acrimonious meetings with what we perceived to be undemocratic proceedings and high-handed actions by the executive, many of us felt it wasn’t worth the stress and withdrew from the scene.
Yes, it was hard to leave the lovely hall, with many of its items having been donated by us, but it was harder to stand by, hearing our friends verbally abused and treated with a lack of respect, and seeing the same executive brought back in through what some see as undemocratic means.
That the UCFI Hall should receive our tax monies, however little they might be individually, was only adding insult to injury. Some privately-owned halls use fund-raising events and membership fees to support their own facilities.
The UCFI has stated publicly that they have 75 members, yet they are still expecting to be supported by the landowners of the Upper Clearwater, including those of us who have absolutely no intention of ever joining the Farmers’ Institute.
In his letter to the editor, the president, Andrew Nelson, says he has never been told what the grievances are, though he was “… told by a neighbour that if I and the rest of the UCFI board resign, then he and his friends would rejoin the Farmers Institute.”
The old schoolhouse is now a gathering place for those who want to have a good time without stress and humiliation – it’s not a community hall, it is Thompson Rivers University’s field station, and we get to use it in exchange for work! As the UCFI hall has so many unpleasant memories along with the good, we have decided to ‘move on’ and find a new venue for social events – without taxing the public. With a lot of work and good will, we will once again have the kind of hall that bonds the community instead of splitting it.
A concerned Upper Clearwater citizen.