Tuesday, June 5th 2018 - Centre AquaKent Fortieth Anniversary Statement
Hon. Rose-May Poirier: Honourable senators, on the weekend of May 27, 2018, the community of Saint-Louis-de-Kent celebrated the 40th anniversary of the AquaKent Centre. This community centre provides a wide variety of services, including a public indoor swimming pool, a community hall, a racetrack, a soccer field, a tennis court, and several kilometres of cross-country ski and bike trails.
Children and teenagers from the community can go to the centre to learn how to swim, thanks to the work of Laurent Bordage, the centre’s first director, who set up swimming lessons for preschoolers and kids up to level 10. A group of volunteers from ParticipACTION take care of the community hall and organize activities for people of all ages.
My husband Donald and I have spent a lot of time with the volunteers organizing activities. This centre is very important to our small rural community and we want to do everything we can to help it succeed.
The AquaKent Center also offers courses from The Royal Life Saving Society of New Brunswick, starting with the Rookie on up to the Bronze Cross levels, as well as the National Lifeguard Service. Over the 40 years, many lifeguards have been trained at the centre and have found employment at the Kouchibouguac National Park. This was definitely a win-win situation.
According to Ms. Line Daigle, manager at the centre for the last 30 years, there are now Zumba classes and Friday night jam sessions where amateur musicians get together to play music. Over the years, the centre has served as a bingo hall, hosted special Diamond nights, youth and adult dances and activities and other fundraising activities for people of all ages.
All of this helps to bring a sense of community to the members of the centre. This is a feeling of belonging that is truly important in all our small towns.
According to Ms. Daigle, the centre welcomes over 250 visitors a week and has about 160 supporting members. People come from all over Kent County and as far away as Baie-Sainte-Anne, Rogersville and Cocagne to take advantage of the centre’s services.
I would like to thank Mayor Danielle Dugas and her council, centre employees, and particularly the Friends of AquaKent Centre, a group of volunteers under the direction of Dr. Pierre Leblanc, for the time and energy they dedicate to the centre to ensure its future.
I congratulate everyone who is directly or indirectly involved in making the centre work. They are to be commended for doing such great work.