My family has resided in Chase since 1961. Since this time, up until the present, the Chase wharf has been a highlight for recreation and socializing in Chase. Here are just a few memories I have, which many locals, visitors and generations will also remember.
As a youngster watching Dr. Vagyi or Heinz Torbohm Sr. swim lengths from shore to the end of the wharf.
Incredible swimmers, which motivated all the Chase youngsters to learn to swim like them. My childhood friend, Gary Weins, performing those amazing jack-knife dives off the top diving board, as we all stood in awe, eager to go off that top board.
All the First Nation, Chase families and visitors enjoying the swimming and playing on the red wharf. The longtime residents will remember that the Dunn girls were lifeguards at the beach and wharf for many years.
You were not allowed to the end of the wharf unless you passed their swim test. Of course it was every Chase adolescent boy’s goal to learn to swim so you could be around those lovely young ladies!
The point is, our red wharf held a very emotional connection to thousands of people and local families. We all were aware that the red wharf was coming down and at the very least, assumed the mayor and council would inform the community when.
In fact, I and many others were expecting an announcement of some sort, of a celebration or ceremony of life of our red wharf. Instead, I was shocked and in disbelief to hear of its demise through the media.
Quite frankly, I am quite appalled that such a major significant event for our community would seem insignificant to our elected officials. What has just happened is truly and insult to the residents of Chase.
Also, in this new age of deconstructing versus demolition, there has been no public consultation or plan presented, if one exists.
Finally, I believe the residents of Chase were told that there would be a presentation and input of the new wharf style. To my knowledge, this has not occurred either.
I am truly concerned for Chase and have lost confidence with the ability of our elected officials to lead, guide, collaborate, partner and implement visionary planning in the best interests for our village.
Two other examples come to mind — not having the insight or vision that a simple plan is required, possibly in partnership with the TNRD, to dispose of leaves or branches, due to landfill closure.
Or having outside visitors sharing they can’t find our beach area. If the simplest of tasks are being “missed” by council, I have no confidence our elected officials understand or are willing to implement the most critical action plans, relating to economic development, marketing or health care. In closing to the residents of Chase, please remember and share your memories of our red wharf.
Also, remember November 2014 is not far away.