It is so sad that Comox remains one of the few communities in BC with no Heritage Registry, no apparent appetite for conservation and such limited ability to see the value in celebrating a Comox citizen of our past, Hamilton Mack Laing, renowned naturalist, recognized nationally and internationally by experts in his field.
Laing entrusted his home and seaside lands on the estuary, to the Town of Comox in a trust agreement, which should have seen the establishment of a nature house in his home, according to the trust agreement he negotiated long before his death and signed with the Town of Comox.
It will be 40 years in February since Mack Laing died, with no apparent intent on the town’s part, to meet the conditions of the written trust agreement. The town rented out his house for 30 years, beginning two months after his death, with no rental funds reserved for his trust. I wonder how many citizens “in the know,” would enter a trust agreement with our municipality now?
The town proceeds with “platform only” plans once again - which was the one-and-only option focus of the “open” house and now usurps the KFN’s description of the “Great Midden” for their own ends. If the town really wishes to minimize harm to the midden, restoring the current Shakesides foundation ( experts confirm it can be done) and Mack Laing’s home (expert confirmation of this also) would be the least disruptive to the midden. The KFN recused itself from talks with the Town regarding their platform ideas until such time that the Supreme Court of BC has ruled on the town’s request to vary the trust agreement. Unfortunately, Comox once again has cancelled the last scheduled court appearance ( Nov.15, 2021).
Until the court decides whether or not the trust may be varied, the plans of the Comox council remain only plans. The court may well decide otherwise.
Let us honour that original trust agreement and work together to bring to fruition Mack Laing’s vision of a community nature house. Let’s imagine it and work towards it.