Arnes church move considered at Gimli council

Harold Thorkelson speaks to the RM of Gimli council as part of a delegation on behalf of the Arnes Lutheran Pioneer Memorial church on Oct. 9.

Share Adjust Comment Print

The Arnes Lutheran Pioneer Memorial church committee presented a delegation to Gimli council asking for council’s approval to move the church to the Arborg Heritage Village.

“People say it’s not a church. It is,” Harold Thorkelson said to Gimli Council. “We have the documents to prove it.”

“We’d like to move the building to a safe and secure place,” he added. “This will not happen quickly or easily.”

Council was concerned about the heritage value of the building and efforts being made. “Any community consultation in that area,” Councillor Peter Holfeuer asked. A meeting at the church was noted on Aug. 31, 2018 where the church congregation suggested ideas.

He estimated the church was 110 years old. Thorkelson believed local residents still see it as important but there was no real interest shown in attending the church in the last 25 or 30 years.

When significant repair work had been done, only one person came to see the result.

Councillor Thora Palson noted that the Heritage Committee asked for more conversation when Thorkelson said they had tried everything.

“We have checked with many… who are involved with small churches in this area,” he said. “Things have changed so much…we did our …due diligence. We have tried to find out what people are trying and we have tried the same for many years – to somehow increase attendance, to get people interested. Good intentions, but its’ just not going to happen. We know that.”

“The dedication and the hard work is commendable,” Palson noted.

When asked how many attend the services, “five, six, four people,” he counted. “It’s a different world from when these churches were built.”

“We would not like to see this church die a lonely death,” he said.

Council Briefs:

  • Gimli Age Friendly Advisory requests that the RM of Gimli proclaim November disability awareness month, motion carried.
  • Gimli Ice Festival agreement with the RM of Gimli approved, the theme for this year being Manitoba’s 150thwith a budget of $20,000.
  • Gimli Theatre requested a safety barrier, motion carried.
  • The Sandy Hook Subdivision has outstanding development agreement items on the agenda. The land has passed into the hands of family members who are asking for relief from green space and walking path development.
  • Full season dust control service to be levied onto taxes for residents of Willow Island, with public consultation recommended.
  • Correspondence includes Snopass request to add annual charge on snowmobile registration.

Comments