Friday, November 26, 2010

breaking news: mayor kelly responds to Stand with the Hermit!

exciting news today! after 34 emails in the first week of the Stand with the Hermit ( social media campaign - plus one call about the campaign from a cbc radio reporter - mayor kelly issued a press release about the church.

my california colleague who started the campaign  -  michael lawlor of transmopolis - spoke to the reporter and i believe will be on information morning monday, though i'm not sure about that.

this is fantastic news - but excitement must be tempered with a mindfulness that good words have not been in short supply when it comes to africville and the church; good deeds, however, have. this is a great step and it shows a lot of little snowflake emails can indeed add up to a snowstorm.

i'll be talking to michael this weekend to see how to reshape Stand with the Hermit in light of this development. stay tuned....

Press release issued today from Mayor Peter Kelly:

HRM commitments to Africville near fulfillment

(Halifax, November 26, 2010) – Resurrection of the Seaview United Baptist Church on the former site of Africville is a big step closer, thanks to a cheque for $2.5 million from the Halifax Regional Municipality.
Mayor Peter Kelly announced today that the money has been transferred to the recently established Africville Heritage Trust Society. The payment honours a commitment which Regional Council made earlier this year to Africville survivors, their descendants and the Africville Genealogy Society.
“Council and I took these pledges to the people of Africville very seriously indeed and we will continue to do so,” the Mayor said.
Irvine Carvery, president of the Africville Genealogy Society, said he was pleased with HRM’s “sincere response.”
“We are looking forward to the Africville Heritage Trust carrying out the necessary steps for the construction of the church and interpretive centre,” Mr. Carvery said. 
Mayor Kelly estimated that, by the end of this year, Council will have honoured most of the promises given to the Africville diaspora as part of February’s public apology for the razing of the black community by the-then City of Halifax in the late 1960s.
The $2.5 million is part of the $3 million Council promised towards the rebuilding of the Seaview church which had been the heart of Africville. The Mayor said the remaining $500,000 is earmarked for the installation of services to the new building and a proposed interpretive centre.
“We respect the sensitivities of the black community in general and the Africville survivors in particular, and we are working collectively to the same timetable to restore Africville to its rightful place in our community’s history,” the Mayor said.
Actual construction of the church, which could start as early as next spring, will be the responsibility of the Africville Heritage Trust Society, as will the funding and building of the proposed interpretive centre.

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