Nelson District Community Complex - Nelson, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member BK-Hunters
N 49° 29.738 W 117° 17.499
11U E 478880 N 5482596
Quick Description: Nelson's new Community Complex, built right behind the old Civic Centre, had its grand opening May 10th, 1975.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 6/9/2013 1:38:23 PM
Waymark Code: WMH94M
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Bon Echo
Views: 14

Long Description:
In the dirty thirties, most towns were dealing with two common problems - those of lack of funds and high unemployment. Many found ways of ameliorating the situation through federally funded civic projects.

Nelson's solution in this regard was to build a much needed Civic Centre in 1935-36, providing employment for dozens of workers through the latter years of the depression.

By the 1970s the economy was in much better shape and the old civic centre had been outgrown by the city. Result - new civic centre, now called a Community Complex, built not so much to replace the old one, but as an adjunct to it. The old civic centre, built of brick and concrete, is still quite serviceable, and will remain so for many years yet.

After many months of construction, the shiny new Nelson District Community Complex(NDCC) was officially opened on May 10th, 1975 by then leader of the Senate of Canada, The Honourable R.J. Perrault.

The new Community Complex adds to the city's recreational facilities with a new hockey arena, swimming pool, fitness and training rooms, concession, meeting rooms and large gymnasium. It also houses overflow from the Sports Museum which is housed in the old civic centre.

This being Canada, the centrepiece of the NDCC is the hockey arena, which is home to the Junior B Nelson Leafs. They are members of the Neil Murdoch Division of the Kootenay Conference of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. This, naturally, is the larger (approximately 1,000 seat) arena of two in the NDCC, with a concession, multiple dressing rooms, officials' dressing rooms and offices. In order to keep the profile of the building relatively low, the arena is sunk below ground, appearing from the outside to be a single storey structure.

Text from the plaque reads:

THIS BUILDING WAS OFFICIALLY OPENED
AND DEDICATED ON
THE TENTH DAY OF MAY, 1975
BY LEADER OF THE SENATE
SENATE OF CANADA

HONOURABLE R.J. PERRAULT, P.C.
AS A TESTIMONIAL OF THE FORESIGHT,
INCENTIVE AND DESIRE OF THE CITIZENS OF NELSON
AND DISTRICT TO PROVIDE FOR THE RECREATIONAL
NEEDS OF THE PRESENT AND FUTURE GENERATIONS
OF CITIZENS.

ARCHITECTS - FAIRBANK & SAWYER
CONTRACTOR - PAUL SCHWAB CONSTRUCTION LTD.


R(aymond) J(oseph) Perrault, born February 6, 1926 in Vancouver, British Columbia, was a member of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia and of the Canadian Senate.

After graduating from the University of British Columbia, he became a communications consultant. He entered politics in his thirties, becoming leader of the British Columbia Liberal Party in 1959. He was first elected to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia in the 1960 provincial election in which the Liberals won fours seats in the legislature (an increase from two in the previous election), and won 20.9% of the popular vote.

In the 1963 election, the Liberals gained one more Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA), for a total of five, while their share of the popular vote fell to 19.98%. In Perrault's final election as leader in 1966, the party won an additional seat, and a modest increase in the vote to 20.24%.

He remained an MLA until he resigned in 1968 to entered federal politics in the 1968 federal election. He won a seat in the Canadian House of Commons as a Liberal Member of Parliament (MP), defeating New Democratic Party leader Tommy Douglas. He was defeated in the next election in 1972.

Perrault was appointed to the Senate by Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau in October 1973. A year later, he joined the cabinet as Leader of the Government in the Senate.

When the Liberals lost power in the 1979 election, Perrault became Leader of the Opposition in the Senate. He resumed his position as government leader when the Liberals returned to power in the 1980 election. In 1982, he was reassigned to the position of Minister of State for Fitness and Amateur Sport, and served in that position until leaving cabinet in August 1983.

He remained in the Senate until his retirement in 2001.

After a 3 1/2 year battle with Parkinson's disease the Senator died of a massive stroke on November 24, 2008 at the age of 82, leaving behind his wife Barbara and their three children.

{Thanks go to the good Wiki.}

Obviously a good politician as well as an admirable person, the Senator's passing elicited comments such as the following from the media of his home town, Vancouver.

From Fond memories of a proud apple-polishing politician, by Greg Douglas of the Vancouver Sun:
"When Molson Breweries made a serious pitch at landing a major league baseball franchise for Vancouver's new Dome in the early 1980s, Senator Perrault led the charge. The local delegation, that included Mayor Mike Harcourt, in San Francisco was under major league baseball's microscope. A Buffalo TV news crew dropped by the Vancouver display booth because they'd heard a real, live senator was part of the group. They were dumbfounded when His Worship the Mayor pointed to The Honourable R.J. Perrault, who was off in a corner polishing a bucket of B.C. apples that he was handing out to passersby. "He's a senator?" the Buffalo producer asked in disbelief.

By the time the interview was over, Senator Perrault had not only jammed the television crew's pockets with shiny apples but had also convinced them Vancouver would definitely be the next city awarded an expansion franchise by baseball commissioner Peter Ueberroth."

"One of my favourite memories of Mr. Perrault -- and there were many -- was on a rainy October night in 2004 when a group of concerned baseball fans recognized as Friends of Nat Bailey Stadium made a desperate plea to the Vancouver Parks Board to recognize the historical importance of the scenic little ball park that was built on the edge of Queen Elizabeth Park in 1951. It had been feared by the baseball bunch that Nat Bailey Stadium would be torn down to make room for construction of a state-of-the-art 2010 Olympic Games curling facility at the adjacent Hillcrest Park.

Senator Perrault, a former honourary chairman of the baseball Canadians, appeared before the park board despite his ill health. "We simply cannot afford to lose Nat Bailey Stadium," he said as we walked to the parking lot that night. "We can't let it happen."

It didn't, thanks mostly to the group's designated hitter, The Good Senator himself."

What was opened/inaugurated?: Nelson District Community Complex

Who was that opened/inaugurated it?: Honourable R.J. Perrault, leader of the Senate

Date of the opening/inauguration?: May 10, 1975

Website about the location: [Web Link]

Website about the person: [Web Link]

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