An iconic landmark church in the Lax Kw’alaams First Nations Community was destroyed by fire on Jan. 30. Emergency crews were dispatched to the 147-year old Grace United Church just after 5:30 a.m. No injuries were reported and the fire is currently under investigation.
“I am sad to report that the community of Lax Kw’alaams lost their Grace United Church building to a fire (on Jan. 30),” Treena Duncan executive director of Pacific Mountain Regional Council of the United Church of Canada, said.
“It’s a terrible loss for the community. That was a beautiful and historic site. At the moment, it’s kind of just the shock of the loss that we’re absorbing, ” Duncan told The Northern View.
The historic church which was established in 1874 was used in the community for weddings and funerals and was significant to many in the community. The church building had previously been razed by fire in 1934 and rebuilt.
Duncan said the loss of the building is extremely devasting as the church community had recently come together and raised funds and restore the church steeple.
“So they had a lot of energy and had done a type of rededication not that long ago. So they have really done a good job of caring for the building.”
“We really want to do everything we can to support this community through this because it’s a great loss.,” Duncan said. “And you know the church was such a central part of the skyline … I just think it’s bound to be really hard for them.”
The church was totally destroyed in the fire, but the church organization’s goal will be to re-build as there is insurance.
“We will hopefully rebuild a facility that can serve both the community and the church,” Duncan said.
K-J Millar | Journalist
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