as reported in the Newmarket Era Banner
Oct 8, 2005
A band that has been entertaining Newmarket since 1872 remains homeless.
The Citizens Band, which plays at seniors homes, town events and parades, was devastated when a fire destroyed the Newmarket Lions Hall where the band stored equipment, music and uniforms.
Chief fire prevention officer for Central York fire services, John Adema said the investigation determined it was arson. Investigators have been following a few leads but no one has been charged. The case involving about $500,000 in damage may remain open for some time.
Since the building has been deemed unsafe due to severe structural damage, members can't even get into the building to assess the extent of damage to their possessions.
"Hopefully, something can yet be salvaged, but we may have lost everything," band president Carol Bracken said. "More than 100 years of Newmarket history up in smoke."
The band is meeting every Tuesday night in the music room at Sir William Mulock Secondary School but is eager to find a more permanent place with storage.
"Many of the familiar red parkas that walk in front of Santa are still in the building and likely not salvageable," she added. "It looks like we'll be parading in our street clothes."
Even though devastated, the band will keep its concert schedule, even if instruments have to be borrowed.