Editorial: The changing face of downtown Morinville
There is a bit of synchronicity in the Town of Morinville holding an open house on two plans that will affect development in downtown Morinville. One seeks to ease the restrictions put upon us by the province; the other to establish some structure to development that will ensure the downtown’s historical properties are preserved.
The synchronicity exists in the fact that at the very same time the town is looking at the changing face of downtown, our historic St. Jean Baptiste Church is in danger of losing its steeple, something that would seriously change the face of downtown Morinville.
The tallest and most prominent structure in this community, a towering and ornate representation of this community’s history, is facing dismantling if funds can not be found to restore it. Half a million dollars are needed to do the work needed to preserve it, and we as a community would lose a beautiful piece of architecture that tourists travel to see and through which we can all travel back along roads that go back more than a century.
The St. Jean Baptiste Parish have been raising funds and have already done some $95,000 worth of work. They need to raise $250,000 – of which they already have $60,000 – by November to put them in the hopes of obtaining a matching dollar grant.
This historic church and significant piece of our community’s history and heritage must be saved. A St. Jean Baptiste Church without its steeple would gut the picturesque appeal of Morinville’s downtown core and rip out the heart of old Morinville.
We all have an opportunity to assist in this cause. Servus Credit Union has opened the People for the Steeple bank account where donations may be made to any teller. Those looking to make tax-deductible donations may make their cheques payable to St. Jean Baptiste Parish and drop them off at the rectory next to the church or at RBC.
It is our sincerest hope readers of this publication will rise to this challenge and keep our historical church’s steeple in its rightful place, high above the community that grew up around this historic treasure.