Pool campaign gets its fundraising feet wet

Drop by drop, support is building for a new pool in Old Massett.

Drop by drop, support is building for a new pool in Old Massett.

Last week, BC Ferries delivered what may be the largest thing ever loaded on the Skidegate-Prince Rupert ferry a 26-tonne,state-of-the art boiler that will eventually burn local wood waste to heat four public buildings in Old Massett, and still havecapacity for more.

It is still on the drawing board and likely years away, but Old Massett councillors hope all that low-cost heat will make itaffordable to build a new community pool, and a commercial greenhouse.

Haida Gwaii has been without a public pool since the former CFS Masset pool closed in 2008, due in large part to high heatingcosts.

At the same time as Old Massett’s new district heating system is being installed, local resident Tammy Jones is kicking off agrassroots campaign to support plans for a new pool.

“We’ve just started,” said Jones, who has so far organized a loonie-twonie auction and a donation drive that raised $1,050raised on day one.

“We need to start raising funds so we can apply for grants and things,” she added.

“It shows that the community is in support, and that we’re contributing.”

Jones said all her children learned to swim at the Masset pool it’s important for safety, she said, especially for islanders.

Jones said families used to visit the Masset pool from every village on island, adding that she knows several families who nowgo all the way to Prince Rupert for swimming lessons.

A new pool would also be a big help to people doing physical rehabilitation, she said.

The new pool campaign is now raffling a trip for two to Vancouver, and all the proceeds will go into an account at NorthernSavings.

“I’m excited,” said Jones, even if a pool is two or three years away.

“I just hope more people get involved, and we all work together as a community, as an island, and make it happen.”

To join the campaign or make a donation, call Tammy Jones at 250-626-7349 or visit the Old Massett Village Council office.