By Wayne Campbell
WELLAND – Rescue Me!, a night of blazing rock music by the popular band Stonewall, will fire up fundraising to preserve Welland’s classically designed Central Fire Station.
The Saturday, Nov. 2 dance at Welland’s Royal Canadian Legion hall, at 383 Moringstar Ave., will feature the popular band Stonewall leading a fun-filled night of dancing. It will include tasty snacks and great prizes.
Tickets are $10 at the door or in advance from members of the Central Station Education Initiative. Doors open 7:30 p.m. for a party that continues until midnight.
Rescue Me! is the latest event in a campaign by CSEI to enhance the almost century-old fire station building at Division Street and Hellems Avenue. Opened in 1920, the unusually designed Central Fire Station served Welland until its closing in 2006. Its classic features make the building unique for the Niagara region.
Central Station Education Initiative, a volunteer not-for-profit society, has leased the three-storey station from the City of Welland. CSEI is raising funds to upgrade the structurally sound building to ensure accessibly, safety and continued use of this downtown gem.
It plans to convert the first-floor into a historical display of firefighting life in the mid 20th century.
The fire station contains many items – fire truck, call box board, response map, dispatch centre, fire poles, hose tower, lockers – of significance to local firefighting over the years.
The second and third floors will become rental space to continue to serve the community. It will provide income to sustain the operation of the centre. Fire station offices, locker room and bedrooms fill the second floor. The third floor has a large recreation and meeting room used by generations of volunteer and full-time firefighters.
Central Fire Station is a cornerstone of downtown Welland landmarks that include the Welland recreational canal, Main Street Bridge, Welland Museum, 1856 Courthouse and Civic Square.
(Wayne Campbell is a member of the Central Station Education Initiative.)