Chebucto And Friends
At Word On The Street!
Andrew D. Wright
CCN Technical Committee
The Chebucto Community Net was celebrating its 5th birthday and
we decided to celebrate the event at the annual
Word On The Street
literacy festival. Chebucto Executive Director Leo Deveau worked
tirelessly for the weeks before the event, making arrangements for power,
for networking facilities, for T-Shirts and a cake, for fire permits, and
of course the tent. When he was done, we had this:
It's eight a.m. on a Sunday morning. We'd done as much advance preparation
as we could and we had three hours to set up before the crowds descended
on us. The warm weather and cloudless skies guaranteed a record turnout
and we had to be ready for them. We'd decided that we'd be doing account
renewals and signups onsite, we'd be providing public web access and we'd
be providing Chebucto Information Providers with facilities to
display what they were about. We had freshly minted brochures to hand out,
recruited CCN Board members to act as greeters and all that was needed now
was to put all the pieces together.
CCN Tech volunteers loaded up the vehicles hauling all the equipment
from the CCN office in the Chase Building on the Dalhousie campus down to
our empty tent, which we discovered hadn't been set up on the DalTech parking lot
but on the lawn next to the parking lot. It was a better location, closer
to Spring Garden Road, but it didn't make running cables any easier and the
lawn looks perfectly level until you try to set tables up on it. Leo Deveau tries
here to stop the wobbling.
Meanwhile, after several trips back and forth to the CCN office, all the pieces of
the new mobile office are in place and just need to be assembled. Of course that
is easier said than done.
We'd rented a giant monitor for the IP displays and discovered that it didn't
come with any cables. Fortunately cables from another monitor fit it so we
were able after some struggling to get it working.
By eleven we were ready and already supply lines had formed to the
nearest coffee shop. It all looks so peaceful here, but soon an estimated
40,000 people would turn out to fill the streets.
Here's a view of what it soon looked like out on Spring
Garden Road. A line of tents ran from South Park Street
all the way to Barrington and there were all kinds of
different displays and promotions. People seemed to be
enjoying themselves and the weather could not have
It wasn't long before things were starting to jump. Account
renewals were a big hit, with a daily total that more closely
resembled a weekly total. Leo Deveau and Board members Doug McCann,
Krista Olmstead, David Murdoch, Michael Colborne and especially
outgoing Communications Chair Sue Newhook greeted and helped
direct the scores of people that came into the tent. The various
Information Providers held their displays and gave talks about
their groups. The afternoon passed in a blur of activity. The
main Chebucto web site was updated with a live page featuring
fresh photos taken with a digital camera loaned
to us by the Eastern Passage CAP site.
At four p.m. it was time for the party. Halifax West MP
Gordon Earle gave a short speech and presented CCN Board Chair
Michael Colborne with a congratulatory certificate.
This was the great cake donated to us by Sobey's on Windsor St.
This didn't last long. We all had a wonderful time and got
to meet many of the people who usually never run into us or
don't know who we are. It was an extraordinary day and a long
one. It was around eight in the evening when we had finally
gotten everything stowed away. Many thanks to everyone who dropped
in to say hello and we'll see you all again next year!
You may direct comments or suggestions about this
Andrew D. Wright, firstname.lastname@example.org
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