Silent Auc­tion to Help Pre­serve His­toric Uuestrie Build­ing

Stanstead Journal - - FORUM - Spe­cial col­lab­o­ra­tion Rachel Gar­ber

It was built in 1895 upon pi­o­neer land and fea­tures the dis­tinc­tive New Eng­land ar­chi­tec­ture of early set­tlers to this area. Ben­jamin LeBaron do­nated the land, and mem­bers of the parish, dat­ing back to 1870, con­trib­uted the labour to con­struct it.

Thus be­gan the Uni­tar­ian Univer­sal­ist Church in North Hat­ley (UUEstrie). At that time, Univer­sal­ist churches flour­ished through­out the Eastern Town­ships. (In the 1960s, the Univer­sal­ist and Uni­tar­ian de­nom­i­na­tions united to be­come Uni­tar­ian Univer­sal­ists.) To­day, the dis­tinc­tive white clap­board build­ing with a bell tower and art nou­veau stained glass win­dows is the only Univer­sal­ist church in year-round use in the Eastern Town­ships. It’s at 201 Main Street in North Hat­ley, at the cor­ner of Gagnon Street, just two doors from the li­brary.

Pre­serv­ing this his­toric gem is still a labour of love. The cur­rent labour is a ma­jor fundrais­ing ef­fort, dubbed the Su­per Sum­mer Silent Auc­tion. Re­pairs to the his­toric build­ing are con­stantly needed and ex­pen­sive, said Carol McKin­ley. She chairs UUEstrie’s fundrais­ing com­mit­tee.

Do­na­tions will also go the North Hat­ley Recre­ation Cen­tre’s sum­mer pro­gram for youth, and to stu­dent Louba Gub­bins-Fougère for her study trip to Peru.

The auc­tion will fea­ture var­ied objets d’art, an­tiques and a wide va­ri­ety of gift cer­tifi­cates. “Can­vassers have gath­ered a won­der­ful va­ri­ety of qual­ity items that have been do­nated by gen­er­ous in­di­vid­u­als, mer­chants and en­trepreneurs,” said McKin­ley.

Items such as vin­tage photo equip­ment, art­works by Denis Palmer, Don McKin­ley and Kay Kins­man, African carv­ings and an­tiques. A wide va­ri­ety of gift cer­tifi­cates from a nice Spa, golf cour­ses, theatres, restau­rants, and even a tat­too par­lour.

The kick-off is on Satur­day July 6, com­plete with free ice cream. From July 6 to 14, it is open for bid­ding on Satur­days from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sun­days from 12 to 2 p.m.

The last day is on Thurs­day July 18, from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. That’s also the day that UUEstrie will be the only church build­ing fea­tured in House & Gar­den Tour. Vis­i­tors will be in­vited to visit the unique wood-pan­elled sanc­tu­ary to learn about its ar­chi­tec­tural high­lights, or to sim­ply re­lax and en­joy quiet mu­sic. In the ad­ja­cent re­cep­tion hall and down- stairs, the silent auc­tion items will be set out wait­ing for bid­ders.

UUEstrie is a reg­is­tered char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tion with a spe­cial in­ter­est in so­cial jus­tice and en­vi­ron­men­tal ini­tia­tives. Its build­ing is home to the Stephen Lewis Foun­da­tion’s Grand­moth­ers-to-Grand­moth­ers, a sub-group of the lo­cal Cana­dian Fed­er­a­tion of Univer­sity Women, as well as other groups.

“Its fine acous­tics make it a favourite venue for con­certs and it is be­ing used more and more of­ten by var­i­ous groups in the com­mu­nity,” said McKin­ley. “We are pleased to con­tinue to share it more and more. With other churches hav­ing closed re­cently in the area, the UUEstrie group urges the wider com­mu­nity to help en­sure that UUEstrie will en­joy many more pro­duc­tive years in the com­mu­nity. So please join us and sup­port our up­com­ing Auc­tion.”

Do­na­tions of cash are also wel­come, she said. Cheques may be sent to the UUEstrie (or Uni­tar­ian Univer­sal­ist Church of North Hat­ley), 201 Main St., North Hat­ley, QC J0B 2C0. Do­na­tions may also be made on­line by vis­it­ing www.uuestrie.ca, and click­ing on the Canada Helps icon at the bot­tom of the home page.

Photo Carol Mckin­ley

Wa­ter­colour of the his­toric Univer­sal­ist Uni­tar­ian Church of North Hat­ley, by Don McKin­ley.

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