Snaw-Naw-As community hall burned down in an early-morning fire Saturday. (Photo courtesy Natasha Bob)

Community hall was an important gathering place for Snaw-Naw-As

First Nation hasn’t been able to access fire site yet to determine extent of damage

The Snaw-Naw-As are thankful no one was hurt in fire that left their community hall in ruins.

A large portion of the 40-year-old building that served as the Snaw-Naw-As community hall was badly burned early Saturday morning. The cause of the fire remains under investigation by Nanaimo RCMP.

Chief Brent Edwards of the Snaw-Naw-As said he’s glad no one was hurt from the blaze, but is sad to see the community hall in the condition it is in.

“It’s hard to see,” he said. “We’ve gathered there as a family and as a community so many times over the years.”

Edwards praised Lantzville Fire Rescue, which responded to the fire and was able to save numerous artifacts including two totem poles.

“We are really grateful for the services [Lantzville Fire Rescue] provide and once again being there for our community,” he said.

The building was insured and will be torn down and replaced in the future, according to Edwards, who said the Snaw-Naw-As haven’t been able to access the building and have no idea if any other artifacts or precious belongings were damaged or destroyed.

“We haven’t gained access to it yet. We’re hoping to get into it in short order and better ascertain what is there and what is not,” he said.

The community hall was an important building for the Snaw-Naw-As. It served as a gathering place during holidays, was a place of mourning and acted as a meeting spot for the community.

“It’s definitely a loss for us,” Edwards said. “It’s right next to the graveyard so everybody from [Snaw-Naw-As] who has passed away in the last 40 years has been carried out that doorway by everybody. It’s a pretty big deal for us.”

nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com

Just Posted

VIDEO: Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP files ‘historic appeal’ to save proposed legislation

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson filed a “historic appeal” on Thursday to have… Continue reading

Chemainus Secondary’s Janet Ruest receives excellence award from Governor General

Chemainus Secondary School teacher Janet Ruest was recognized in Ottawa on Wednesday.

VIU nursing students conduct survey on Ladysmith early years programming

Fourth year nursing students at Vancouver Island University have teamed up with… Continue reading

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP seeks secret ballot to save abandoned vessels bill

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson is seeking a secret ballot to save her private member’s bill.

Founder Smith’s vision will live on through the Chemainus Theatre Festival

Death of Ken Smith brings much reflection from a grateful community

UPDATE: More searchers out looking for missing senior near Nanaimo

Search and rescue personnel from all over the Island are looking for 73-year-old Faye Hanson

An adopted cat is the best 10 pounds you’ll gain this season

BC SPCA encouraging families to add a forever feline friend during adoption event Nov. 24 to Dec. 3

Uber official says public needs to push for ridesharing in B.C.

Mike van Hemmen tells Kelowna Chamber of commerce ridesharing would be ‘win-win-win’

15 arrested as Duncan police raid yields drugs, stolen property

Arrests made, drugs and stolen property seized

B.C. co-ops relieved with Ottawa’s housing strategy

Federal government to have a new co-operative housing funding model in place by 2020

Mounties dismantle counterfeiters ring with raid in Maple Bay Thursday

Counterfeiting paraphernalia found along with firearms, stolen property as police swept in Nov. 23

B.C. NDP referendum plan sparks legislature battle

David Eby says public will decide on proportional referendum

Hammy has been freed of his threads, a purple antler remains

The iconic Prince Rupert buck with a piece of hammock attached to his antlers was caught by COs

RCMP searching for missing Cowichan Bay boater, Daniel Borthwick

His Zodiac has been found but he has not, so far.

Most Read