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This articule by Carden researcher Frances Laver

Forty was the maximum number of people who could crowd into the Carden Township Hall for pot luck suppers, bingo and other community events until last year. Now approximately 200 people can be accommodated for events held just a few yards away from the former location.
Last summer, area residents began making use of facilities in their new recreation centre which is still under construction and is costing $140,000. Approximately $40.000 of that money was raised through fund raising events and private support. Grants have covered some of the cost. Labour has been donated by area residents eager to have new facilities available to the public.
“The old building built in 1883, featuring gray insul brick siding was known as S.S.#4 Carden Public School and was operated by the Public School Board of the township area of Mara-Carden,” said Jean Jones, secretary of the hall building committee and a member of the new auxiliary formed to cater to events held in the new centre. “It was purchased by the township in May 1968 and since then housed the hall and township offices. Now the office is part of the new building. There’s a senior citizens room and more.”
“Construction was started in May 1980,” said Jones. “The first official event was a pork barbecue held last summer. Since then it has been regularly used by Guides, Brownies, New Horizons Group, for baton lessons, meetings and other community functions.
‘The hall isn’t officially opened because it isn’t officially finished. It is being built by volunteer labour and I am guessing they won’t finish the basement part until next fall or winter. Then we’ll have an official opening.” That opening will come approximately 100 years after the construction of the original building.
The new structure, 40 x 80 feet, houses the main hall, kitchen area and bathrooms on the main floor, the township offices are on the entrance level (where Bessie Dewell Township Clerk and Jean Jones office staff may be found at work) and the basement will include the New Horizons room, a snack bar and other facilities.
The project is the result of the efforts of an interested group of residents who felt the necessity for the building. They started researching to see what grants were available and how much actual cash they would need to qualify for them.
“The cost of the building has been through Wintario and Culture and Recreation grants. Both provincial, paid in instalments”, said Jones. “The project had to be a municipal one to qualify.” Another source of funding became available recently in the form of a New Horizons Grant, something the group did not think of at the start.
“Last year, when the building was up, a room was set aside for senior citizens,” said Jones. “They became the New Horizons Club and applied for a New Horizons Grant which they received in March. The $11,000 will be used to establish their own drop-in centre and activity centre on the lower level which has a wheel chair ramp. The President is Robert Kay.
Another group activity involved in the project is the auxiliary headed by Janine MacInnes, president, Nancy Byer, Secretary, Laurie Stewart, Treasurer, and Blanche Black, Vice President.
The building committee, the interested group of people who first approached council, includes the following; Tom Feltis, Chairman, Ross Radway, Jon McMahon, Morley Graham, and John Hagen. Jones said many other people should receive thanks for being actively involved. These include Tom Dawson, and Joseph Brulotte and Sons.
Ross Radway is chairman of the Board of Management now made up of eight people. Laurie Stewart, Treasurer, of the Carden Recreation Hall ladies Auxiliary recalls ,”It was a tight squeeze to get in more than 40 people in the old hall” which is still used for some community activities.
“We used to hold bingos which were started off by the fire department,” she said. “In the old hall when something came up, it was usually groups of church women who catered. Our auxiliary involving up to 30 or 35 women from the Carden Township area was formed last summer. They are sort of the backbone of the community now. If somebody wants to hold a wedding reception or other function, the ladies are there to cook the meal.”
Things will be different on Mother’s Day, May 9, when the men will be cooking for the Mother’s day Special Pancake Brunch to be held in the hall from ( 9 am to 12 noon. Local syrup will be featured. Admission for adults and Children will be $3. For pre-school children the cost will be $1.
Beginning tonight, May 3, bingos will be held every Monday at 8pm. There will be early bird games at the weekly event to be held throughout the summer months. Baton classes are held every Tuesday at 7 pm. Brownies and Guides meet Wednesday night.
The new township office is open to the public on Monday, Wednesday or Friday in the building which has become the hub of the community according to Jones
The new recreation centre is located on Dalrymple Road in the village of Dalrymple on the east side of the Lower Lake Dalrymple. For information, call Don Hill at 833-2085.6


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