EDITORIAL: McPhee Meadows one fine legacy in Courtenay

The people of the Comox Valley have generous hearts.

The people of the Comox Valley have generous hearts.

On top of a mountain of evidence gathered through the years comes the announcement that the McPhee family has donated 11 acres of riverfront property.

As Ruth Masters did previously, the McPhees have transferred an ecologically important property so it will be preserved in perpetuity as a green space.

On behalf of the estate of prominent Courtenay businessman Robert McPhee, his family is donating land on the Puntledge River in the historic Old Orchard neighbourhood to the City of Courtenay and The Nature Trust of BC.

The property features a natural meadow and forested area, as well as a small heritage orchard. The donation was made as part of the federal government’s Ecological Gifts Program.

The donation is significant, and true to form for a man who gave so much to his community, reacted Mayor Larry Jangula.

While crediting the family’s decision as well as praising  McPhee and his family for “many contributions to this community over many decades,” Jangula noted the “precious gift” is not merely for Courtenay, but for the entire Comox Valley.

Well said, and true of many other local gems such as Filberg Park, which is available to all, not just residents of Comox.

The property, which was owned by the McPhee family since 1886, shall be known as McPhee Meadows to honour the former Courtenay mayor and longtime member of Courtenay council, who was involved with many community organizations.

Besides McPhee Meadows, another of Robert McPhee’s legacies to us is Central Builders, which he owned.

The family’s lineage stretches back to Joseph McPhee, one of Courtenay’s founding fathers, who passed away in September 2010.

The donation process was quietly begun shortly before his death and finalized in December 2011, says the City of Courtenay.

There is currently no public access to the property, but that will come in a truly satisfying win-win.

editor@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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