The community of Yunesit’in (Stone) has a new library thanks to the efforts of the Rotary Club of Williams Lake.
Last week Lieutenant Governor Steven Point joined the community to officially open the library.
“The opening of the Yunestin’in Community Library is the culmination of a shared vision to provide access to literacy materials to all British Columbians in all parts of our province,” Point says. “It is a shining example of what can be accomplished when we work together toward a common goal. We must learn from each other, understand and respect each other, to reach our fullest potential as people. We have a shared history and together we can make a great difference in the lives of our fellow citizens.”
Britco donated a 10×40-foot trailer that was used during the 2010 Olympics by the media, and its transportation. The Rotary Club purchased a second trailer.
“We turned one side into a library and the other side is the cultural centre and then we closed it in,” club president elect Nancy Giesbrecht says.
In January 2011, the club made the decision to pursue the project.
“It involved some meetings with the community out at Stone because we really wanted them to tell us what they wanted. We wanted it to be their vision, not ours,” Giesbrecht explains.
Originally the project centred on a library and then progressed to including a cultural centre.
Books for the library came from several sources, including a $15,000 grant from the Rotary Club of Sechelt.
“When the president came up for the opening, he brought 100 boxes of books from the library there. We’ve got some clubs in Colorado that have been collecting books for the Daybreak Rotary’s Toosey library project and now us,” Giesbrecht says, adding the Salvation Army Corps in Williams Lake has been putting books aside to donate. “When the Daybreak Rotary did their book sale they picked out a few books for us as well.”
Four computers were also donated by the Colorado clubs.
Yunesit’in chief Russell Myers-Ross is happy to see the facility added to the community.
“It’s good to have something supplementary for the kids in the school,” he says.
Excited about the cultural centre, Myers-Ross explains the community still needs to organize that aspect of the new facility and how it will be run.