A roof over the pool

The Mid-North Monitor - - Opinion - GRANT LEWIS

My mem­o­ries of Es­panola be­gan in 1979 when I ar­rived to teach French at AB El­lis Pub­lic School. I was lucky enough to meet AB El­lis him­self!

I of­ten heard sto­ries about chilly morn­ings, chat­ter­ing teeth, freez­ing lessons at the out­door pool, which had been built by the Li­ons Club in Es­panola. Such is the ‘stuff of life.’

The early ex­ec­u­tives of the Li­ons Club for­tu­nately had the fore­sight, where­withal, and thank­fully the will, to as­sess and re­spond to the needs of the lo­cal youth. The plan for a new out­door pool was spear­headed by Her­man Dor­ries­field and his com­mit­tee.

So early in 1954, the Es­panola Li­ons pool was built for only $30,000. It was out­side, hugely pop­u­lar, and well used. For the most part, the labour was free and the ma­te­ri­als were do­nated by lo­cal busi­nesses. Over the years since then, the club had put in over $150,000 to main­tain the pool and to re­fur­bish it. The pool pro­vided great mem­o­ries for gen­er­a­tions of lo­cal chil­dren and their par­ents.

Sadly, noth­ing lasts for­ever, which may or may not be a good thing. The Li­ons Club once more spear­headed the cam­paign to con­struct a new ath­letic com­plex, in­clud­ing a new pool. The club led the charge with Kirby Houle, Paul Za­horec, Marc Doucette, and Gord Alex­iuk. A project this grand could not be done alone. EB Eddy and the Town of Es­panola were part of the team.

The lo­cal Li­ons Club do­nated a whop­ping $400,000. Gord Alex­iuk, Lion Club mem­ber was es­pe­cially thrilled be­cause now there was “a roof over the pool.”

This is why to­day there is a rather large Li­ons logo and motto on the wall of the com­plex pool. But the club com­mit­ment was not over. Since the open­ing of the Es­panola Re­gional Re­cre­ation Com­plex, the Li­ons Club has spon­sored count­less hours of free swims for the com­mu­nity, to the tune of more than $85,000. It is truly a won­der­ful fa­cil­ity and as Li­ons, we are proud to have been in­volved at its in­cep­tion and con­tinue to be proud as ‘We Serve.’

PHO­TOS SUP­PLIED

The new ex­ec­u­tive for the Es­panola Li­ons Club in 1954 were: (stand­ing) Ernie Kelly, Ernie Dodge, Mac McMil­lan, Eddy Landry, Frank McCul­loch, Jim Jes­sup, Ted Wil­son, Fred Bar­ber. (Seated) Chris Good­man, Andy El­lis, Harry Col­bon (ab­sent - Osie La­belle).

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