Vic­to­ria has not for­got­ten its colour­ful past

The Compass - - TRINITY SOUTH -

Then Premier Frank Moores was on hand to cut the rib­bon, de­clare the build­ing of­fi­cially open and speak at a ban­quet at the Sta­tion Lounge.

The struc­ture has un­der­gone a con­sid­er­able facelift in re­cent years. Be­sides the coun­cil cham­bers, it houses the ad­min­is­tra­tive of­fices and a large meet­ing room on the ground floor. A li­brary, town ar­chives and sup­ply room and of­fice for the Vic­to­ria Army Cadets can be found on the sec­ond floor.

Work on wa­ter and sewer in­fra­struc­ture was also started in 1974 when the orig­i­nal wa­ter trans­mis­sion line was in­stalled from the brook at Rocky Pond to the main road via Pow­er­house Road.

To­day Mayor Art Burke es­ti­mates “some 98 per cent of the town’s house­holds are ser­viced with mu­nic­i­pal wa­ter and sewer.”

The main road through town (Route 70), now called Main Street and Church Road were the only two paved roads in the town in the early 1970s.

Now, Mayor Burke es­ti­mates, “about 75 per cent of the town’s roads are paved. Our goal in the next few years is to get all our roads paved,” he added.

“ Since 1975, I see a lot of dif­fer­ence,” Vi­vian His­cock said.

Coun­cil ap­pointed His­cock the town’s first fire chief on Sept. 30, 1975. The town had re­ceived its first fire truck on Sept. 12 of that year. The ve­hi­cle was housed at the town hall un­til the fire hall was built in 1977. The 50-mem­ber vol­un­teer fire depart­ment first met Oct. 4, 1975.

Signs of growth

An­other pos­i­tive sign of growth in any town is the num­ber of hous­ing starts.

Point­ing out “a lot of new homes are go­ing up,” Mayor Burke noted, “so far this year (2011) alone we’ve had 10-12 new hous­ing starts.”

He said they’ve had an av­er­age of 6-10 new hous­ing starts ev­ery year for a good many years.

Aside from the town hall and fire hall, the town also op­er­ates the for­mer Lions Den as a Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

Her­itage Vil­lage

While Vic­to­ria has evolved into a mod­ern town look­ing for­ward to a bright and pros­per­ous fu­ture, it has not for­got­ten its colour­ful past. It has em­braced its her­itage as some­thing to be cel­e­brated and shared with all those who come to visit.

Nowhere is this more ev­i­dent than at the Her­itage Vil­lage on Pow­er­house Road.

Sur­rounded by a board­walk, the com­pact vil­lage in­cludes a gen­eral store, salt­box style dwelling house, forge, mu­seum, New­found­land Pony barn, and wa­ter­wheel, not un­like those once used to power sawmills. It is lo­cated on Pow­er­house Road next door to the hy­dro­elec­tric sta­tion mu­seum.

Res­i­den­tial growth

Mean­while, Mayor Burke also noted peo­ple con­tinue to buy up land in the town to de­velop sub­di­vi­sions.

Be­sides those, which are un­der­way or have al­ready been de­vel­oped, he said “two more sub­di­vi­sions are cur­rently un­der con­struc­tion.

The mayor noted coun­cil has also been speak­ing with a res­i­dent in­ter­ested in start­ing low rental hous­ing de­vel­op­ments.

Coun­cil has also had an ap­pli­ca­tion on file for some time from a de­vel­oper who wants to build a golf course.

“ The de­vel­oper has pur­chased some pri­vate land and the town has ap­proved some crown land for the de­vel­op­ment,” Burke ex­plained. It is to be lo­cated in the west end of town to­wards Heart’s Con­tent with the main en­trance from the Heart’s Con­tent bar­rens road.

While no ma­jor cel­e­bra­tions are planned to mark the town’s 40th an­niver­sary - Vic­to­ria cel­e­brated its sil­ver an­niver­sary of in­cor­po­ra­tion in 1996, and looks for­ward to mark­ing its golden an­niver­sary in 2021 with a big bang.

By that time it hopes to have an­other solid decade of growth and progress to cel­e­brate.

HER­ITAGE VIL­LAGE - The cen­tre­piece of Vic­to­ria’s colour­ful past is this Her­itage Vil­lage on Pow­er­house Road. Sur­rounded by a board­walk, the vil­lage in­cludes a gen­eral store, salt­box style dwelling house, forge, New­found­land Pony barn, mu­seum and wa­ter wheel. WA­TER WHEEL - This wa­ter wheel is a replica of the type once used to power sawmills in Vic­to­ria. Lo­cated near the old hy­dro­elec­tric sta­tion, it now forms part of the town’s Her­itage Vil­lage.

FIRE HALL - Built in 1977, the Vic­to­ria Fire Hall houses the depart­ment’s 2006 pumper and 1990 equip­ment van along with a meet­ing room for the depart­ment’s 21 vol­un­teer fire­fight­ers. The fire hall is lo­cated next to the town’s Mu­nic­i­pal Cen­tre on Main Street.

COM­MU­NITY CEN­TRE - The for­mer Vic­to­ria Lions Den has been taken over by the town coun­cil and now serves as a com­mu­nity cen­tre.

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