An excited group of Stationkeepers MV founding members met recently at the Barry’s Bay Railway Station to welcome an eye-catching addition to the Station Park. A new sign, the result of collaboration with, and financial support from, the MV Township is not only an example of the behind the scenes work being done by the group during the pandemic, but also an indication of what is yet to come from the group of well-over 100 volunteers who are committed to revitalizing the Station and celebrating the unique local heritage and culture it represents.
“When Covid-19 hit,” said Joanne Olsen, president of the non-profit group, “we were only just getting started; we’d cleaned up the inside of the old station and produced a wide variety of interesting activities including the MV Heritage Film Club, the Company of Happy Adventurers, and The Stationkeeper Singers.” The group also held throughout 2019 and early 2020 dozens of very-well attended musical, historical and literary shows including several commemorating the 125 anniversary of the official opening of the station on October 1, 1894.
“We did not let the pandemic discourage us,” she said. “The old station has withstood the 1918 Spanish Flu, two World Wars, the polio scare of the 1950s, near nuclear destruction in the early 1960s. So, we set to work on projects which did not require actual gatherings.”
And so, she said, this past summer, the Stationkeepers launched an oral history project that collected more than a dozen individual biographies of local people who were all keen observers of the area’s developing social history. Nor was that their only accomplishment.
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