The Friends of Walhachin Society is gearing up for the Walha-Schindig on Saturday, May 14. The event will showcase the more than $90,000-worth of renovations that the Soldiers’ Memorial Hall—better known now as the Community Hall—has undergone in the last year, courtesy of funding made possible by Thompson-Nicola Regional District Director Steve Rice of Area “I”.
Assu Nydam, president of the society, says that the kitchen and bathrooms have been updated, with the bathrooms now wheelchair accessible. “All the windows have been replaced, there’s a new heating system, and the front stairs are now built to code.” Underground sprinklers have been installed, and there’s now an outside deck and picnic area, along with a barbecue and pizza oven.
The intention is to make the century-old hall a year-round community centre and entertainment space for the 32 year-round residents of Walhachin, as well as for visitors. “We wanted to revitalize the Hall and make it the focal point of the community.” Nydam says that Saturday coffee mornings will start back up at the Hall on April 23 at 10:00 a.m. “Everyone is welcome to drop by for coffee and cake,” he says, adding that people travelling to or from Kamloops on Saturday mornings often stop in for a cup of joe on their way past.
The Walhachin Museum is still located at the Hall, although the renovations and redesign have meant some change to the way items are displayed. Nydam says the society hopes to be able to buy new display cases.
The Walha-Schindig will take place at the Hall, and Nydam says that the first objective of the family-friendly event will be to have fun. Artisans and musicians will be there, along with a variety of food vendors, such as the Rotary Club and Cookshack Cravings from Kamloops, while those interested in history will be able to watch a PowerPoint presentation about Walhachin. For younger attendees there will be a bouncy castle, face-painting, popcorn and cotton candy, and more.
The event, like the Saturday coffee mornings, is by donation. “We’re not here to make money; we just want to cover our costs and let everyone enjoy themselves,” says Nydam. More volunteers are needed; anyone wanting to help out can get in touch with Nydam at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling him at (250) 318-6100. A one-year membership in the Friends of Walhachin Society is $10.00.