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Pomona company to restore Harriet Tubman’s church in Canada – Daily Bulletin

In a career spanning over 30 years, Ray Adamyk has taken on a high profile number restoration projects.

The latest effort for his Pomona-based company may be his most ambitious – reviving the church where Harriet Tubman worshiped nearby The last stop of the Metro Railway.

To assist these efforts, a fundraising walk will take place on July 4 in Pomona, headed by the resident and president of Pomona Spectra Companywhich specializes in the restoration and preservation of historic buildings.

Located in Adamyk’s hometown, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, Salem Chapel played an integral role in the history of abolitionists and civil rights in Canada. The church, about 15 miles northwest of the U.S.-Canada border, became a prominent community space for black Canadians and those fleeing slavery.

But in recent years, the 165-year-old building has fell into disrepair and needs help to fully restore it to its historic historic status. Despite being listed as a historic site in 1999, Salem Chapel needs new windows, plumbing and roofing and many adjustments, amounting to $ 3 million.

This is where Adamyk comes into the picture. He is contributing $ 200,000 in services to the work, which is expected to begin in 2023.

Spectra president Ray Adamyk, who lives in Pomona, is seen inside Salem Chapel in Canada talking to historian Rochelle Bush. The Pomona-based company will work to restore the historic church. (Courtesy of Spectra)

After a discussion about helping with racial reconciliation in 2020, Adamyk began researching Tubman’s life. Adamyk, who grew up far from Salem Chapel, did not know her story and connection to the famous abolitionist for most of his life.

“Most people do not know where the last subway stop is in a small town called St. Catharines in Canada,” Adamyk said by telephone this month. “I quickly learned how special this place is.

“People come from all over the world because they want to be in that chapel where Harriet Tubman sat and worshiped,” he said. “I mean, I did not even know and it happens that I grew up on the street.”

After contacting the church in 2021, he touched the base with Rochelle Bush, the church caretaker and resident historian, who told him about the dilapidated condition of the building. When Bush said the church needed a restoration, it all started to click on Adamyk.

Having historic buildings previously restored, including El Capitan Theater in Hollywood, Casino Catalina in Avalon and Hotel Biltmore in downtown Los Angeles, Adamyk said “it was all part of my calling”.

“I told her (Bush), ‘You know what, we’re going to come to church and bring her back to Harriet Tubman’s legacy,'” Adamyk said. he cried because, after all these years, the church would receive much-needed help. “

Spectra president Ray Adamyk is seen inside Salem Chapel, the church where Harriet Tubman in the 1850s worshiped in St. Louis. Catharines, Ontario, Canada. (Courtesy of Spectra)

Born and raised in St. Louis. Catharines, Bush has deep roots in church history. Her maternal great-grandfather was the minister in charge of the Salem Chapel during the time when Tubman lived in the town from late 1851 to early 1862, according to the church. Web page.

In 1853, freedom seekers and freed slaves arrived in St. Louis. The building held about 200 people and some of their descendants continue to attend today, Adamyk said.

In recent years, the number of church members has dropped to seven, Bush told Adamyk. But with plans to restore the church to its former glory, there is optimism, Bush said.

“I really hope Ray is the answer to our prayers and succeeds in restoring Salem’s much-deserved Chapel,” Bush said in a statement.

With $ 100,000 previously raised for renovations through crowdfunding and another $ 100,000 received last year through federal Supporting the Canadian Black Community Initiativethe project is on track.

Adamyk is collaborating with the city of Pomona to raise money for the church as part of LA Unity Day on July 4th. The 1.5-mile hike will begin in Lincoln Park, where a Tubman statue is expected to be unveiled, before ending at Fairplex.

Mayor Tim Sandoval called Adamyk’s efforts and the new statue an opportunity for young people to learn about Tubman’s influence.

“It is important in a park called Lincoln that we have a statue of a person that represents what it was like to go through and endure slavery and not just endure, but fight against,” Sandoval said on the phone last week.

The event will feature celebrity boxing, family activities, musical guests and a fireworks display, Adamyk said. Proceeds will go to the restoration of the church, but Adamyk also started one GoFundMe campaign.

For Adamyk, who visited the church last year, Tubman’s story needs to be told and received the respect it deserves.

“Can you imagine the Washington Monument or the Lincoln Memorial not caring?” asked Adamyk. “But this is an African-American country and some people think it’s not that important, but it’s extremely important and it needs to be addressed as much.”

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct an error. Ray Adamyk lives in Pomona.

Pomona company to restore Harriet Tubman’s church in Canada – Daily Bulletin Source link Pomona company to restore Harriet Tubman’s church in Canada – Daily Bulletin

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