In 1975 a fire destroyed Bob and Violet Petitpas home. This started the driving force that would bring this community together. Bob along with Larry Foran approached councillor Elizabeth Lawernce together with community members created a fire department and community hall that would be shared by all. It was not an easy job by any means and someone had to be chief, that task was given to Jack Nickleson. A truck was needed and by determination a 1946 Ford milk truck was bought and turned into a tanker and Bill Marrs made sure it was a fine working machine. Billy Hughes managed the money matters later turning the leger over to Bim Blackadar. Gary Schanar kept notes on everything.
An even bigger responsibility was needed, Ken and Ruth Zwicker were the heart of the community for they ran the fire phones 24/7 and dispatched the call letters XJK 491 when response was needed. The men and women came out no matter the time of day or night, weather conditions to help people in crises.
The Junior Fire fighters where the young people of the community they not only trained with the men and women but ran all the teen dances, canteen at bingos, as well as helping where and when they where needed.
The hall was a thriving hot spot for us all, the ladies Auxiliary held so many various functions and dances with Clyde Kedy at the helm of the bar and his many helpers, and bingo every Sunday night who in their right mind would miss a night there. We had so much fun.
On September 13th 2015 the location was renamed:
Estabrooks Community Hall
Today we have many youth and other groups sharing the hall. These make our building stand out as the need for such a community hall. We are proud of our VIMY250 Air Cadets, Scouting Movements, Amber Allen Fitness Program and so much more!
All that being said we need you the community to help us carry on by supporting our fund raising efforts,we have many wants and a lot more needs. It will take time to repair and replace the items that we need but with the support of you the community it can and shall be done.
Our Present Position
With the only option offered to the community by HRM was to form a non profit board (BRCHA), and enter into an Assignment Agreement for a lease between HRM and the Province of Nova Scotia, assigning HRM’s lease interest in the building to the BRCHA, which has created a Commercial Tax burden on the operating expenditures.
Fuel cost and snow removal are our largest operating expenses during the winter months and the repercussions of these high costs affect our balance sheet during the entire year.
The 40 year old furnace has an intake of 5GPH, that’s 5 gallons per hour or roughly 20 litres and hour. This unit has been replaced by a propane system installed by Wilson Fuels this year!
At this time, the day-to-day operations actually need part time staff but we do not have the funds. The current volunteers and Board members have dedicated the majority of their time towards the day-to-day operations. We have very few volunteers.
This website, the photos, videography and other online activities are done as part of this volunteer effort.
We would like to thank Pamela Lovelace for setting up the new WordPress site.
The site is currently maintained by Wanda and Kelly Mercer.
There has been limited funding from HRM District Councillors because of a misunderstanding about the ownership of the ECH with HRM staff. It has been since clarified that the land is owned by the Province and the building is owned by the HRM. Since this clarification we should be able to apply for grants and subsidies from the municipal and federal governments.
INCREASING ECH’S SUSTAINBLITY
-Reasonable increase of rental fees to the groups that use hall while still being competitive with surrounding subsidized centers in the area. Remember if it costs us nearly 25 dollars and hour to run the facility this must be reflected in rental rates.
-Create other uses for hall to attract more versatile group(s) of users.
-Working with local nature advocated like, Five Bridges Lakes Wilderness Area Stewardship Coalition for the use of ECH as an Interpretive Centre, in regards to promoting the nature experiences and the many waysides the community has to offer.
-HRM Emergency Measures Operation (EMO) have interest in having the ECH setup as an emergency refuse, as it is the only centre that is setup to handle their generator, location, facility readiness.
-Nova Scotia Ground Search and Rescue Association(NSGRA) have vested interest in having use of ECH for search and rescue, happens ECH is a central location to all the lakes in surrounding area.
-Work with different levels of government in order to make BRCHA a viable asset to the local community and surrounding areas for now and future generations to follow.
We have begun to host more family events in order for our communities to become aware of who we are and what we stand for. We are the volunteers that want to keep a place for our regular users and future user to come to. We are the volunteers that care about what is happening in our area. There are many things that we do for you our community and we are proud to help!
We rent our hall out hourly or nightly.
We have been in contact with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to understand the process of applying for registered charity status so that we will be able to give out receipts (tax deductible for income tax purposes). As a non-profit organization, we Can’t give out tax receipts and that is usually the first question that donors have.
The biggest cost the ECH faces is the inefficiency of the existing heating plant during the winter months. We have taken all precautions in order to make the heating plant efficient as it can be.
–installed electric hot water tank to keep the boiler from unnecessarily running through the summer months
–wrapped heating pipes
–cleaned all the heating fins of dust ( dust prevents even distribution of heat)
–installed a timer to control off and on times when center is not in use
What is needed:
Walling in of the bay doors to prevent the massive amounts of heat loss. Any donation of construction materials would be greatly appreciated.
Replacing all the lighting in the hall with the more efficient LED technology.