The small town of Bella Bella lost a key community building to fire on July 12, and while Whistler is a long way off that hasn’t stopped local business operator Bob Adams from offering to help the community.
Adams has launched an initiative called Books for Bella Bella. He’s asking Whistler residents to drop off boxes of books to help replenish the supply of reading material for the coastal town’s library, which was housed in the torched building along with a cafe, the community’s general store and the liquor store.
The plan is to designate the stores Adams and his wife own as drop-off points. They include The Grocery Store, Upper Village Market and Market Catering. Adams met the grocery store operator from Bella Bella through industry events and has made arrangements to have donations sent to Bella Bella through a supply company they have in common.
“The grocery store is supplied by Buy-Low Foods Ltd., who are doing their utmost to help the community establish a temporary store in the church basement,” wrote Adams in an email message with early details of the Whistler initiative.
The project is scheduled to launch on Thursday, July 25. Adams reported that the Whistler Public Library and Armchair books have come on board to help as well. Buy-Low has agreed to put all the books collected onto a barge and transport the books to Bella Bella.
According to Dan Moskaluk of the RCMP, three girls have been arrested in connection with the fire. He said they are aged 13, 15 and 16. The fire started somewhere between 2 and 4 a.m. Friday, July 12.
The torched building was constructed 35 years ago. Bella Bella RCMP also had to evacuate the local hospital and some homes in the area because a of nearby gas and diesel tanks.
Bella Bella is a remote community located 150 kilometres away from Port Hardy at the northern end of Vancouver Island.
Look for more details of the Books for Bella Bella initiative as the plan comes together through this week.