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History Of The Building

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Pleasant Valley – The Home of a Thriving Community

Published in the Nanaimo Free Press Special Edition 1924 — Author unknown

Travelling Northward from Nanaimo there lies between the Island Highway and Mount Benson one of the most promising valleys from an agricultural standpoint, that the eye of man ever looked upon.

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As an asset to Nanaimo, and a scintillating jewel in the crown which is Vancouver Island, the valley of the Millstream, known after leaving Wellington as Pleasant Valley, stands second to none among the fertile stretches of an Island to which nature has dealt not kindly, but indulgently.

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That much of the wealth of the district is potential rather than actual, and its artificial facilities still embryonic, means only that a relatively short distance has been traversed on the road to development, and little vision is required to foresee the day when small holdings intensley cultivated shall support a prosperous and contented people in a hinterland which any individual city might be proud to posses.

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It is interesting to note that that until 4 years ago there was nothing in the district resembling organization amoung the settlers, and if there was any community consciousness it seldom found expression. Social intercourse wass tunted, a bee for the purpose of helping out a new comer or other cause was unknown.The paralysing isolation was broken only by the scrambling methods of marketing their produce, here the scrambling simmered down to an orderly processions, each taking their individual cream cans seven miles to town, and so on, but why continue to enumerate the weak points of a system that perhaps was forced on men and women who realized the folly of it, the waste, the hopelessness of ever bettering things in an organized world, when they remained unorganized.Some of the grievances are remedied now, other improvements will doubtlessly follow, the pace is determined by the stickers and workers, when the morning glories have wilted in a noonday sun.

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It took three years to get a lamp, literally that. When after three years years of intensive spade work by a handful of enthusiasts, the assets of the group were taken stock of, “One lamp” in good working order, was the only tangible item to show for their efforts. It is only fair to notice the pioneers of the Lamp, and take its symbolical significance rather than its intrinsic value, concluding it showed the way.

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On Jan 19, 1923 the decisions was arrived at to build a hall, as the first step in a number of local improvements. A committee of four, two ladies and two gentlemen, were then and there appointed, given power to add their numbers at their own discretion and instructed to exploit the social possibilites of the district with a view of rasing funds. Weekly whist drives, social and dances were held in various farm houses. Like a bush fire in a dry spell, the rate of progress, after the first futile attempts, was wonderful. Helpers multiplied, people who had never been suspected of having the least public spirit in their make-up, turned out to be utterly good fellows on closer acquaintanceship. It became a point of pride to outstrip a neighbor in the entertainment afforded and receipts obtained for the cause. Until after sampling each other’s own cooking, dealing hands of whist, and improving considerably in the art of terpsichore, the hall was accomplished in less than 10 months. In dimensions type of construction and general layout, it is a credit and source of satisfaction to those interested in it.As a public dance hall it offers a good floor, fair space, and excellent approach from either direction.

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