High priced labour, feverishly putting last minute touches on the 130 year old building at Queenston will be rewarded on Saturday afternoon when the Queenston Library and Community Centre is officially opened by Hon. Robert Welch, Minister for Social Development.
Up to late last Saturday evening, a crew comprised of John Ghetti, John Kormos, Ross Johnson, Jack Niven, Phil Crosthwaith, Alec Stark and his two sons Bill
and Malcolm, Richard Henns, John Paterson, and Captain Williamson, were engaged in laying the parquette floor in the main hall of the building, thus saving about $500 for the Association.
The crew included an immigration officer, several executives, an architectural draughtsman, a school principal, a construction inspector and a retired lake master.
While lunch and other refreshments were served by Jean Huggins, Gloria Ghetti and Lois Niven, the working crew were getting the building ready for the grand ceremonial opening within the next few days.
The building which will become known as the Queenston Library is a former Baptist Church built in 1842 and became headquarters of Women's institute in 1928. The property was subsequently bought by Dr. Djamal Afrukhteh who generously donated it to the Town. Dr. Afrukhteh is a Persian physician practising in Niagara Falls. The donor's one proviso was that the building should be used as a library for the residents.
A committee was formed with former Lewiston-Queenston Rotary President Aubrey Dickson as chairman and John Pendergast as Vice Chairman in charge of finance. Jack Niven took the position of Vice Chairman, works and John Kormos was appointed secretary. The committee, approached the Town Council for assistance in raising funds to restore the building and Ald. William Griffiths and Harold Clement were appointed Council's representatives on the committee after the Municipality agreed on a donation of $10,000. Lewiston-Queenston Rotary gave two amounts of $2,000 each and the St. David's Lions gave $1,000. The fund raising committee was successful also in raising $5,000 from the Ontario Foundation and nearly $10,000 from the Local Incentive Program. Efforts on behalf of members solicited, the remainder and now, with about 48 hours to go, a dream will become a reality for the people of Queenston especially. About $4,000 is still needed to complete payment. The Library however will not confine to Queenston residents only. It was made clear from the inception the library facilities and the Community Centre will be available to the entire Municipality of Niagara-on-the-Lake.
The opening takes place a 2 p.m. on Saturday December 2.