Volunteers Gather in Nelson to Renew Kingdom Hall
Do opposites attract?
In the case of the Kingdom Hall renovation on Falls Street, the answer is “Yes!”
Young and old, skilled builders and eager novices from across Western Canada have gathered in Nelson to update the well-used building. The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses is a public meeting place and Bible education center.
Jehovah’s Witnesses have a long history in Nelson, meeting in private homes until they opened their first Kingdom Hall in 1957.
The current building was constructed in 1969 to accommodate their growing numbers.
Norm Jury, who worked on the 1969 project, was also a volunteer on the recent renovation.
Originally from North Vancouver, he loved the community and natural beauty of Nelson so much that he relocated his family to the area. Now 84 years old, he admits “I can’t do as much as I used to, but it’s still great to be doing what I can and working together with friends. The new friends made and the happiness on site are things I love to be part of.”
In recent years, the need to modernize became apparent. Hot summer days without air conditioning distracted from the Bible education attendees look forward to, so the decision was made to provide major updates.
“The new energy-efficient HVAC design is good for the environment, as well as for the health and welfare of those who attend,” explains Mason Coulter, Construction Coordinator for the project.
The new HVAC system uses less energy, continuously delivering fresh filtered air. The effect will be a refreshing environment to worship and learn.
Accessible washrooms, audio/visual equipment, a new roof, improved layout, and cosmetic updates both inside and outside completed the list of improvements. A piece of the building’s character was preserved with the original tongue and groove ceiling retained to the delight of the congregation.
Concern for the environment was also reflected in the food service. A customized trailer offered nutritious meals to the hungry workforce. Single-use plastic and disposable tableware were not used for on-site meals. Left-over food was distributed to the workers each day, preventing food waste.
What made this project remarkable is the fact that none of the 250 volunteers were paid. Volunteers from as far away as Slave Lake, Alberta came to Nelson at their own expense to help.
The enthusiasm of the local and visiting volunteers created a happy worksite and a quality finish. Almost everyone in the local congregation volunteered to help. Whether they offered their skills, learned new ones, prepared meals or hosted visiting workers, those taking part described their experience as faith-strengthening and joyful.
Coulter concludes “I’d like to thank the community of Nelson for their many positive comments. It’s been encouraging to all the volunteers, and the result is a beautiful, comfortable place to worship and learn.”
Members of the public are invited to drop in and tour the completed project on Saturday, February 17th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Weekly meetings for Bible education and worship are held at the Nelson Kingdom Hall each Sunday at 10 a.m and Thursday at 7 p.m.
More information on Jehovah’s Witnesses’ activities and beliefs can be found on their official website, JW.org.