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.”

Just Posted

5 family-friendly events happening in Ladysmith this weekend

Wounded Warriors run stops in Ladysmith Get ready to cheer on the… Continue reading

UPDATE: Stolen pickup truck recovered during arrest south of Nanaimo

Two suspects were arrested in connection with a stolen pickup truck in Cassidy on Thursday evening

Adopted pet pig gets killed and eaten

Animal was adopted out by SPCA staff in the Cowichan Valley

Driver charged in two-vehicle crash on highway north of Ladysmith

Passenger in Volkswagen Jetta transported to hospital with minor injuries

WATCH: Vancouver Island man catches dashcam video of near head-on crash

Video shows oncoming van cross over centre line

Canucks fold 5-3 in first ever trip to Vegas

Daniel Sedin had two points as Canucks fall to the Golden Knights Friday night

That’s a wrap: B.C. Games results after Day 1

Vancouver-Coastal Zone 5 is in the lead for medals Friday at the Kamloops 2018 B.C. Winter Games

Construction set to begin on Nanaimo airport terminal expansion

First phase of construction project to begin in March or April

Sticking the landing at the B.C. Games

Gymnasts talk competition, B.C. Winter Games, and teamwork in Kamloops

$153M in federal cash to fund child care, education training in B.C.

Bilateral agreement will create 1,370 new infant and toddler spaces

A B.C. woman talks her life in the sex trade

A view into the life from one Kelowna prostitute and the issues it can cause for women

Twitter feed prays for — instead of preying on — B.C. MLAs

Non-partisan Christian group wants to support politicians through personalized prayer

Hundreds march for justice in death of Winnipeg teen

Tina Fontaine was pulled from a river in 2014, her body wrapped in a blanket and weighed down by rocks

Most Read