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Group rallying for community centre at former Barton school hosts first community event and has a Sept. 21 AGM planned

Barton Consolidated School
Barton Consolidated School - Contributed

BARTON, NS – When the old Barton Consolidated School closed in 2017 it left members of the community without a space to gather for community events.

During the winter a group formed called the St Mary’s Bay Community Center who are rallying to get access to the old Barton school to plan community events. Members of the group include former students of Barton school, community members and people who just want a place to meet new people.

The group has met with the municipality with a business plan and will meet with them again in the fall to speak more about their ideas. If the group gets access to Barton school they plan to host many events like square dancing, nature walks, after school programs and many more.

“The idea is for us to build the community. It’ll be a place to meet new people, socialize,” said chairman of the organization, Tom Haynes Paton.

Members of the group recently hosted a square dancing event at North Range Hall to see if people would be interested in this type of event if they are granted access to Barton school. About 20 dancers showed up for the event.

“This was our first community center activity for our new community center,” said Haynes Paton.

Out of the group that attended many have never square danced before but still came for the experience.

“If you don’t want to dance that’s OK. You can sit, meet new people or laugh at those who are trying to dance,” he says.

The group reached out to attendees for feedback after the event and so far they have only heard positive feedback.

The community center group hopes to draw crowds of both young and old, giving everyone a chance to socialize.

“We’re trying to apprehend the academic of loneliness.”

St. Mary’s Community Center is hosting its first annual general meeting on Sept. 21 at North Range Hall at 7 p.m. Some of the topics the AGM agenda will include are the annual report of the directors, annual financial report, election of officers and board of directors.

Every member who is registered and has paid the $5 membership fee is a voting member of the society. New members interested can register at the AGM.

All questions about the community center or the AGM can be directed to 902-245-2347 or

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