by Chris Pickup

Caledonia Councillor Craig Grice  waxed nostalgic at council’s Jan. 16 council in committee meeting at the loss of Heritage status on the Caledonia Old Mill building. (The heritage designation is to remain on the land.)

He noted in a somewhat incoherent manner how he had at one time sat on the board of the Old Mill committee and agreed that it could not be salvaged and that the building would simply be lost one day.

He said it was a disappointing day because “as you lose a part of your heritage you lose part of the fabric that helped  build the community that stands around it.  Caledonia is losing the Old Mill now, I don’t know, next year, two years from now or maybe even twenty, I have no idea  … we’re gonna lose our historic bridge.”

He noted the Grand River is an historic river, but it’s only historic in context to what goes along beside it, what goes over it, and what has gone on it. “But we constantly lose that historical piece so how long are you going to have an historic Grand River, because the water isn’t historic, it’s new water every single day.  So there’s my disappointment that we end up having to remove, we have to remove a designation that we will lose a very historic piece of Caledonia.”

Well, so far so good. We agree on losing part of the fabric of a community with the loss of certain pieces of it.

But, Councillor Grice, in the context of your feelings, can you explain how you quite cheerfully voted with the rest of council to rip out the historical heart of another Haldimand community?

Explain how you could vote to sell Cayuga’s Court House grounds to a developer, support the demolition of the Haldimand County Museum (which county staff said was in good condition), and move the historic Nicholas log cabin at great risk to its fabric, to another site?

Explain how you can support the new Cayuga Library and Heritage Centre to the site where the old Cayuga Hotel now sits? At least the replica of your precious Old Mill will look somewhat the same (if all goes as promised by the developer). Cayuga’s new library makes no attempt to fit into the fabric of its surroundings.

Enough of your crocodile tears.