Tuesday, May 3, 2011

disturbing developments in africville

today's chronicle herald reports on a story i've been working on. the africville heritage trust, the board appointed to preserve the memory of africville, is doing so by asking the last resident to leave - and offering him nothing in return.


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Published: 2011-05-03
Squatter asked to leave park
Africville Trust to get $4.5-million memorial project underway



Plans are in the works to bring an end to the drawn-out Africville land protest at Seaview Park in north-end Halifax.

The Africville Heritage Trust wants squatter Eddie Carvery to vacate a section of the park he has occupied for years so a $4.5-million memorial project can proceed.

Last week, the trust announced it’s issuing a tender call for the building of a replica of Africville’s original church. The replica is to include a museum component, and is part of the compensation deal released in February 2010.

The tender closes May 12. Trust members are hoping the project will be ready for the annual Africville reunion in the park this summer.

Redress was negotiated between Halifax Regional Municipality and the Africville Geneology Society for the decades-old destruction of Africville and relocation of its residents.

Carvery, a former resident of the black neighbourhood, told The Chronicle Herald Monday he’s received a notice from the trust asking him to leave. He has two trailers in his campground in the park.

Carvery’s brother, Irvine, president of the genealogy society and a member of the trust’s board, said the board is trying to work with the protester so his protest can continue — but not at the site he’s occupying.

"Eddie is a part of the story of Africville," Irvine Carvery said in an interview Monday. "We’re hoping that we can reach some common ground here."

Asked what the heritage trust would do if Eddie Carvery refuses to leave his spot, he said board members are hoping for the best. "I guess we’re going to have to cross that bridge when we come to it," Irvine Carvery said.

The volunteer heritage trust was formed last year shortly after a multimillion-dollar reparations package for Africville was announced.

Most of the trust’s members lived in the defunct Bedford Basin-area neighbourhood or are their descendants.

Part of the compensation agreement is to change the park’s name back to Africville. That’s happening, too.

( mlightstone@herald.ca)

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© 2008 The Halifax Herald Limited
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