CHCM building in Marystown demolished
A part of the history of the Burin Peninsula removed
Any hope Marystown and area residents had of the VOCM station on the Burin Peninsula reopening crumbled along with the building on May 15.
Crews from Wally Drake’s Trucking began removing items from the building on May 13 in preparation for the demolition on May 15.
Marystown Mayor Sam Synard said it is a sad day for the town to see the long-standing structure removed.
“Is a mixed emotion time for sure,” said Synard. “CHCM was such an important part of the community and the region.”
CHCM served as a major radio station for a majority of areas in the region.
“It played a huge role in Marystown,” said Synard. “It was really a community based radio station in our minds,” he said. “It opened in (19)62 and closed in (2016) so for the 54-55 years it played a huge role in the community, so it is a very sad day.”
Synard said the reaction from people who were viewing the demolition was one of disappointment.
“Disappointed that it has come down to this, but technology has changed so rapidly in the telecommunications industry,” the Mayor noted. “So it is a private company who made a private corporate decision.”
Synard said the community may look into other options for local broadcasting.
“There may be some other alternatives for a not-for-profit community based radio station,” he said. “They have done that in other communities that have lost traditional radio stations, so we’ll have to see where we go in the very near future visà-vis community based radio.”
Julie Mitchel, a resident of the area, said that until May 15, residents had been hoping to see the station opened again.
“I think it is a very sad day,” she said. “I know we lost the local feed several months ago and that was bad enough, but while the building was still there there might have been a glimmer of hope that something could be resurrected there from the communications perspective.”
Mitchell said for the past 55 years CHCM has been the go to station for people on the peninsula.
“It not only provided music, it provided information, it provided very timely information,” she said. “For example a few short years ago (during) hurricane Igor, it was the station that everybody in this area tunes into to get all the latest updates.”
She understands that social media now plays a large role in providing people with information, but it is not the same.
“You physically got to have that in your hand looking at it, where as I could be washing my dishes in the sink and have CHCM on in that background and you were getting all that information,” she said. “I think we lost a lot.”
Mitchell said a part of the town’s history went with the building.
“Unless you’re a hundred years old, you can’t remember a time when it wasn’t there, it was there forever,” she said. “I understand too that the tower will be coming down, and the tower is a big part of the landscape of the Marystown area.”
Crews from Wally Drake’s Trucking in Marystown conducted the demo of the former CHCM building in Marystown on Monday, May 15.