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Africville protester makes way for church Squatter now on port authority land
By EVA HOARE Staff Reporter Fri, May 6 - 4:54 AM
The man who’s stood his ground at Halifax’s Seaview Park in protest for several years packed up his belongings Thursday and moved away — but not very far.
Abiding by a request from the Africville Heritage Trust, activist Eddie Carvery moved one of his trailers to a property adjacent to the spot he’s occupied at Seaview. He is now residing on a piece of land owned by the Halifax Port Authority.
The trust needed Carvery to move so it could proceed with plans to build a replica of the Africville church at Seaview. Construction is to start after the tender is awarded within the next week.
Michelle Peverill, spokeswoman for the port authority, confirmed Thursday a trailer had been moved onto the port’s waterfront property. The land adjoins Seaview Park, she said.
"In the last 24 hours, we’ve been made aware of the fact that this trailer has moved onto our property."
As of late Thursday, the port didn’t plan to take any action, Peverill said.
The land Carvery moved to is to be transferred to Halifax Regional Municipality as part of the settlement deal for Africville, Peverill said.
The handover has been part of discussions between the municipality and the port for some time, she said.
"We don’t have any immediate plans to do anything today. Essentially our intention is to continue to work with HRM," said Peverill. "We’ll deal with HRM about that."
Shaune MacKinlay, who speaks for the municipality, said Carvery’s move to port property will be "part of the discussion we have with the port," adding it would be "premature to say anything beyond that."
A member of the trust said Thursday that board members were aware Carvery had moved as requested.
"That paves the path for us to move forward with the church," said April Howe.
Last week, trust members asked the activist to vacate the section of the park he’s occupied so a $4.5-million memorial project can proceed. The group is working toward having the church replica ready for the annual Africville reunion on July 21.
The trust was formed last year after a multimillion-dollar reparations package for Africville was announced. Part of the package involves changing the park’s name from Seaview back to Africville.
In a previous interview, Eddie Carvery’s brother Irvine, president of the genealogy society and a member of the trust’s board, said the trust was trying to work with the squatter so his protest could continue.
Irvine Carvery could not be reached for comment Thursday.