Nfld. & Labrador

The Bishop's Falls Heritage Centre's story isn't over quite yet

The Bishop's Falls Heritage Centre nearly closed earlier this summer after most of its volunteers quit. That is, until some new members stepped in.

'I refused to let it fall,' says Dan Oldford

The Bishop's Falls Heritage Centre was near to closing, after the volunteer executive all quit. But new volunteers have helped keep it open. (Submitted by Dan Oldford)

The Bishop's Falls Heritage Society is starting a new chapter in its history after a recent overhaul.

The group helps look after the local heritage centre, located in the former railway station and featuring local history, such as exhibits on logging and the town's 1983 flood.

Out with the old, in with the new. Bishop's Falls Heritage Committee welcomes a new executive, after most of old resigned. 5:02

Earlier this summer, most of the society's executive quit. The current chair, Dan Oldford, says the volunteers were overworked and just couldn't do it any more.

"They've been struggling over the last couple of years," said Oldford.

Dan Oldford says there is a general downward trend of volunteerism in Newfoundland and Labrador. (Submitted by Dan Oldford)

"Volunteerism in Newfoundland right now is at challenging a time, trying to get people that have extra time on their hands."

Oldford was with the original group that started the museum, and didn't want to see it closed down.

"I refused to let it fall … We put out feelers through town and put out requests to individual people, as well as notices in town and went looking for a new executive," says Oldford.

I hope that it's a realization that it was either step up to the plate or watch something fall apart completely.- Dan Oldford

The call for help seems to have worked; he society now has 14 members, which Oldford said is two more than they had before.

Oldford said he's hopeful this situation will show his community there is a need for more volunteers to step in.

"I hope that it's a realization that it was either step up to the plate or watch something fall apart completely, that we didn't want to happen," says Oldford.

The society already has some new projects in the works, Oldford said, including some new exhibits and fundraising to repair the museum's train set and the building itself.