The life and legacy of Tommy Douglas will be celebrated on Sunday, October 20 at the Tommy Douglas Centre at 2 p.m.
Tommy Douglas, who served as a Baptist minister in Weyburn before getting involved in both provincial and federal politics, was born on Oct. 20.
Douglas’ birthday will be marked at the Tommy Douglas Centre during a special “Tommy Douglas Day”, and that same day an exciting “Raise the Roof” campaign will be kicked off, to help raise funds for a new roof at the Tommy Douglas Centre.
Tommy Douglas Day will feature Jean Freeman, an actress who portrayed Fitzy’s Grandma on “Corner Gas”, and the musical stylings of Leah Rebrinsky and Sarah Regines.
There will also be skits, speech re-enactments and stories all featuring Tommy Douglas’ life and legacy. Refreshments will include popcorn, cake and coffee.
Residents who want to help support the “Raise the Roof” fundraiser will have an opportunity to buy a shingle during Tommy Douglas Day. For a $10 donation, residents will receive a small keepsake, in appreciation of their donation.
Earlier, during a Tommy Douglas board meeting in July, the importance of fixing and replacing the roof was discussed.
A report by Roof Management and Inspections Services indicated that the roof is in poor shape, and needs to be replaced within one to four years at a cost of around $100,000.
According to their report, which was commissioned by the City of Weyburn, “All sections are in poor condition with consistent cupping and severely weathered cedar shingles throughout. Some shingles have begun to split and may become dislodged from the building.”
In addition, all five roof sections show signs of water leakage, but no interior damage seems to have occurred as yet.
The intention of the Tommy Douglas board is for the centre to remain as a municipal heritage building, unless the funds simply aren’t forthcoming to help repair the roof.
The Tommy Douglas board has also established a three-phase plan, that will include other repairs needed at the centre. The first part of the plan is to fix and repair the roof, then they centre will fix and repair the windows and siding, plus the exterior painting. Thirdly, they will develop a long-term maintenance plan for the building.
The Douglas Centre is available for rental, for groups that want to utilize the building. All rental fees are used as income for the facility. The building is available for a wide range of uses, from weddings, banquets and meetings to tours, music lessons, workshops, concerts, classes, and each year, the Rotary Music Festival. Other principal renters include the Crocus 80 theatre group and Flatland Catering.