My family’s involvement in the community and with The Acaciaville Conway Betterment Association (ACBA) has been longstanding. While all of the original members of the board have since passed away – my father, Hubert Johnson, was the last to pass on.
Following my retirement from the Canadian Forces and returning to the area, I always had an interest in re-establishing the ACBA. In 2011, the ACBA reorganized and elected Mrs. Imogene Barton as president. We piloted Community Reunions and Remembrance Day Brunches with a focus on acquiring a Community Centre in the Black community of Digby. We included the name “Jordantown” to the organization, known thereafter as the Jordantown Acaciaville Conway Betterment Association (JACBA).
Since being elected the President of JACBA in 2012, we conducted a survey in the Community to get input on priorities and initiatives. As a result of that input, we created a Seniors Group, a remembrance in recognition of the members who served in the military, past and present. But perhaps the clearest direction we received was that the vast majority of those who responded identified a new community centre as the most important priority.
In 2013 JACBA was asked by the Digby Education Committee (DEC) to take a lead role in acquiring a Community Centre. I couldn’t think of a better way of honouring the Community’s input and continuing the legacy of those founding board members than to have a gathering place for the Community.
The Center of Excellence will help our community prosper, a well-deserved victory after years of resilience from African Nova Scotian and Black students who have been subjected to racism and racialized discrimination since the mid 1950s. Each square foot in this building will represent another step forward in racial equality.
Although the Center came to fruition because we were segregated, what we have ahead of us is a symbol of respect, diversity and inclusion for the Digby County area.
We invite you to join us and invest in a Center deeply rooted in education that will support the health, wellness, and employment opportunities for those in our very own community.