“Tell me, who hung the hand-stitched stars on the wall?”

Yesterday, after lunch at the Laughing Oyster overlooking Okeover Arm, we took a little detour to Lund because John’s sister and her husband had never been to the end of Highway 101, the road we live on (though on its Sechelt Peninsula stretch). And there was the Lund Community Hall, on its last legs:

Lund community hall

Driving back to the ferry, I stopped the car by the Lang Bay Hall because it has been lovingly cared for (and therein lies a tale I’d love to hear):

lang bay hall

I’ve been to so many events at these old halls, weddings, funerals, the dances we call hippie stomps, political meetings, concerts. And as they disappear, so do these small but important histories. In an ideal world, I’d somehow organize myself to put together a book about the community halls of B.C. but I’m afraid that kind of editorial skill is not something I’ve been gifted with. If someone else took it on, I’d help. I even have several people lined up to contribute materials on halls they’ve loved and know well. I can’t help but think of Matt Rader’s beautiful poem, “Dove Creek Hall (Formerly Swedes’ Hall)”, with its heart-stopping final line:

                           All the Swedes who built this hall
Are dead now and the women they married are dead
And the pastor who married them and their friends.
But the children do not know this or just how sad
Beauty is on the last day of spring with instruments
And young players making music beneath the rafters.
They play along with mistakes and embarrassment.
Tell me, who hung the hand-stitched stars on the wall?
Who hung the evening light from the windows?


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