The rural community of Nauwigewauk, east of Saint John, is losing its main gathering point because of damage sustained in the historic flooding of 2018.
The Nauwigewauk Community Club Executive Committee has voted unanimously to have the club and adjacent former fire hall removed from the property.
Community club president Taya Wallace says the spring flooding saw two feet of water on the floor with four feet in the fire hall.
She says the call had to be made based on the facts.
“It was a really difficult decision whether to repair or not to repair,” said Wallace. “We know the probability of flooding is inevitable.”
Because of previous flooding at that location, the buildings did not have flood insurance. The community club, which was established in 1948, has been a central gathering point for the community, hosting countless events over the years.
“Emotionally, we didn’t want to do it,” explained Wallace. “We’ve had many, many, many memories. The fairs, Brownies, parties, strawberry suppers, all kinds of beautiful things.”
Area residents have also expressed their disappointment.
“It does seem an awful shame to have it torn down,” said Darling’s Island resident Carolyn Laskey. “It is used and it gets us to get together with the neighbours, which is lovely.”
The committee is seeking disaster relief funding from the province to assist in the cost of removing the buildings on the site, which is estimated to cost about $50,000.
In the meantime, there are plans to maintain and possibly enhance the remaining recreational properties, including a playground, tennis courts and ball field.
The possibility of a new building at a new location isn’t being dismissed.
“If the community really wants to have a new building, I’d love to see everybody come together and raise the funds and raise the roof and find a new area,” said Wallace.
No date has been set for the club and fire hall to be removed.