History

A Community Centre for the Darling White Lake area was a vision for many people before amalgamation took place in 1998. To further this vision, in 1995, a group of seniors formed an organization, called theWhite Lake Area Seniors Association Inc.. This was a non-profit corporation with charitable status, to focus on realizing a community centre for the area. At that time, there was reason to believe that Federal funding might be available to support a Senior's Centre which then could be used by the community at large.

A constitution and bylaws were drawn up and the White Lake Area Seniors' Association was formed with the prime objective being the acquisition of land and the construction of a building. Unfortunately, fiscal restraint became the order of the day and Federal funds were no longer available for the project. Consequently, a search for a suitable building site began. A parcel of Crown land on Snye Road, between California road and the Waste site was chosen and a purchase application was sent to the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR). The MNR investigated the proposed site thoroughly, and several years passed before it became evident that there were too many roadblocks to this proposed acquisition, namely, timber and mining rights, wetland policies, plus the fact that the land in question fell under the Indian Land Claims.

In 1998, Darling Township became part of Lanark Highlands Township due to amalgamation. Subsequently, as a result of the Ice Storm, it became very apparent that this part of the new Township lacked a Community Centre, not only for cultural and social purposes, but also to be used as a possible emergency shelter in times of need. You may remember that members of the armed forces were billeted in the Fire Hall during the ice storm.

With this in mind, in September of 1998, the Seniors' Association approached the Township Council to get their support for the project, and to make a request for a grant from the reserves transferred upon amalgamation from Darling Township to Lanark Highlands Township . The response from the Chair of Health, Recreation and Culture Committee in November 1998 was as follows: “It is the feeling of the Lanark Highlands Health, Recreation and Culture Committee that a Community Hall in the White Lake area is most deserving, but planning should be directed to serve the entire community in which Seniors are an integral part.” It had already been stressed in a presentation to Council, that although the Seniors' Association would be sponsoring the project, it would be for the use of the community at large. After further discussion by the Senior's Association executive, it was suggested that the White Lake Property Owner's Association (WLPOA) might be considered by Council to be a more appropriate sponsor. At an executive meeting of the WLPOA in February, 1999, it was agreed that the WLPOA accept responsibility for the project and to work in conjunction with the Seniors' Association and other organized groups in our White lake community.

A request for $45 000.00 from the Darling Township Reserves was then made and subsequently, Council was asked to transfer the money into a special interest accruing account for the Community Hall. Council refused this latter request, stating “That the $45 000.00 contained in the former Darling Township Reserves not be placed in a separate Special Account with interest accruing to that account. That all reserves for the benefit of former townships be treated equally and remain under the control of the Council of the Township of Lanark Highlands. That the WLPOA be informed that the best way of safeguarding the $45 000.00 is that they commence a project against which they can apply the funds.”

Several years passed and a lot of effort went into attempting to raise funds. In 2003, the local councillor (Bruce Horlin) marshalled residents from around the lake, having an interest in developing a centre, to form an executive board under the umbrella of the Lanark Highlands Council. The original members of this board included the following people: Elspeth Davidson, Elaine Pasch, Dan Ryan, Brian Roberts, Chuck Presley, Gord Pike, Doug Foster and Bruce Horlin as a representative from Council. In 2004, Tony Ferguson spoke with Bruce and volunteered to provide the necessary drawings for this venture and became a "friend" of the board as a construction consultant.

As the Darling White Lake Community Centre board had the same purpose as the White Lake Seniors organization, the White Lake Seniors was adopted by the new group who became directors of it also. Dan Ryan was instrumental in securing a name change and retaining the charitable status for a fund raising group called the Darling White Lake Community Centre Inc..

This new group, with a nearly identical name to the Darling white Lake Community Centre (no "Inc." at the end), has the sole purpose of raising funds for the community centre group.

In September of 2005, Brian Roberts resigned from the board to pursue other pleasures in life and Tony Ferguson was voted onto the board.

An official constitution and bylaws was ratified on January 21, 2006 for the Darling White Lake Community Centre Inc. (available on the documents page of this web site).

Site clearning commenced in the Winter/Spring of 2005 with Tony Ferguson clearning the building footprint. In the spring of 2006, more site clearning was done. Several local people helped out and collected some of what was cut down for firewood. A final push was done to clear the site to get it ready for stumpping and grubbing with a large excavator.

Many of the mature trees were removed from the site by Tony so that they can be milled at a later date, providing much of the millwork for the Centre.

Fraser's Excavating volunteered a large excavator's time to do some stumping and grubbing under the direction of Doug Foster. Although the local Fire Chief provided specific instructions for the arrangement of seperate piles, only one large pile was created. This led to some extra work.

S&L Landscaping, a small, local landscaping company was hired to separate the single pile into four smaller piles; however, when they began work, they discovered that the pile was not simply brush and logs, but mostly earth and rock mixed firmly with the brush, logs, and stumps. S&L found that the scope of the work changed too significantly for them to continue withe the job.

Finally, Gord Pike arranged to have Cavanaugh's Excavating extract the stumps, brush, and logs from the earth and rocks. The 'wood' was placed into four separate pile so that the Fire Department could burn them over the winter.

Because of the time taken to move the pile, the well that was suposed to go in during the fall was postponed until the Spring.

Elain Pasch proposed a major change to the building layout based on her volunteer work in the kitchen at her local church. Although the size of the kitchen was based on the kitchen sizes found in several community centres, Elain proposed that the kitchen be made approximately twice as large as the current kitchen. The board agreed with this and Tony made the neccessary changes to the drawings. These changes included removing the small office/meeting room and relocating the bathrooms and mechanical room and changing the size of the main hall, making it slightly larger. The building was also mirrored to allow for any possible future expansion in size.