Comings & Goings On – Residents fight for the old bridge

Mavourneen Varcoe Ryan's monthly column of community news and events in Spences Bridge

Sharri Boucher

Happy New Year! Here we are still in January and we’ve been getting some spring like weather already! I hope all our plants and trees sap and buds aren’t tricked into an early start only to get hit by real winter weather later on.

We were, however, lucky that the weather stayed cold enough to skate on Mud Lake. The skating party on the Dec. 28 was a lot of fun. There was a great turn out; kids and dogs all over the ice! It was very nice to see some folks come out just to watch, sit by the fire, and roast a hotdog. Thanks to all who helped!

The New Year’s Dance was well attended, enough to feel like a good party, but yet there was lots of room on the dance floor. The Community Club hosts this event as part of their mandate to provide social and recreational activities. The dance is intended to provide an affordable New Year’s event for the community, so the fact that we didn’t quite break even this year is fine, as long folks were able to get out and enjoy themselves ringing in the New Year. Thank-you so much to everyone who volunteered; whether it was organizing, bartending, decorating, cooking, or cleaning up, it couldn’t have been done without you!

The idea of hosting a regular bingo was discussed again at the last meeting. Please watch this space, and for posters in the coming months.

The SBCC has decided to support the “One Billion Rising V-day” event. This is a global event, participants are registered so that there is a count. The concept is to take a stand against violence against women – in a safe public, fun manner. All are welcome to join us in Spences Bridge to Dance, Drum and sing and speak out against violence against women. Wear your pink and red colours – bring a drum or just come as you are. Friday, Feb. 14 at 2 pm Chief Wistemnista Centre (Cook’s Ferry building)

Family Literacy week will again see many activities throughout our region from Jan. 27 – Feb. 1. Spences Bridge  will again have an evening of badminton at the Chief Wistemnista Gym at 6:30. There will be great prizes and snacks – and of course promote physical literacy by getting mobile with the whole family! Everyone is welcome, you don’t need to have children to attend – just get off the couch and come be active and have fun!

The Club has been discussing hosting a movie night twice a month. The movies would focus on those filmed in the area, or perhaps subject matter pertaining to the area. We thought we’d try movie nights on every other Saturday – with popcorn of course – for a loonie donation. Most movies will not be suitable for young children. Suggestions are welcome, but the line-up so far include The Sweet Hereafter, An Unfinished Life, Canyon Wars, The Pledge, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Shooter, and Thirst. Please watch for posters for the first showing!

The New Horizon’s Senior’s Program has so much going on it will be a struggle to list it all here! First of all there is a free digital media workshop being offered on Fridays from 10 am – 2 pm where you can learn all sorts of interesting technical tricks for photos, home movies, music and more – at the old school.

Qui Gong is a relaxing simple but powerful form of stretching and movements to improve energy, balance, strength and breathing. This free workshop is being offered Wednesdays 10:30 – 11:30 at the old school (Next week only will be Thursday instead) through the end of February.

The next New Horizon’s pot luck is Tuesday, Jan. 28, at 5:30 at Clemes Hall. The theme this month is drums and quilts. Bring your favorite potluck dish, a drum and quilt – you don’t need to have made them, perhaps they were gifts, or lucky finds, maybe there is a story to tell! Or just bring some food and enjoy the others items and stories. There will be prizes!!

Soup Day seems to be growing in popularity – there have been great turn outs, great soup, and lots of laughs and sharing – ongoing on Wednesdays at noon at the old school.

Although I try to keep this column to only issues pertaining to the Spences Community Club, I must mention here this sad occurrence; our beloved old bridge has been permanently closed.

The plan is to dismantle it entirely, leaving no means even for pedestrian or cycle traffic. Personally I find this very hard to swallow. I do understand closing the bridge to vehicular traffic – given the age of the bridge, our small population and the costs involved in keeping it safe. However, surely the cost of dismantling it entirely would be greater than the removal of the heavy deck, (apparently the risk threat), and the replacement with a light deck that the base structure would be capable of supporting.

The hardships for those without the means of a car are great. The distance to the number one bridge is substantial for those needing to go to the Post Office, the store, the health offices, the band office and so on. And more problems for those wishing to get to the hall or the Inn from the other side. Also disappointing is the fact that no safety measures were put into place prior to closing the bridge, such as safe sidewalks or even wider shoulders, a pathway to get off Hwy 1 sooner, or a right turn lane for eastbound cars coming into town. There is my rant.

Our next regular meeting will be Feb. 12 at 7 pm at the hall. Everyone welcome!

Mavourneen Varcoe Ryan

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