Make it right, mayor and council of Comox …
On Wednesday, July 20, you are scheduled for the final vote on the fate of an historic house called Shakesides, donated to the Town of Comox in trust to be used as a place to reveal the magnificent nature we have here in Comox Bay, one of the most beautiful places in the world. The donor, Mack Laing, is recognized as a world-class naturalist and a leader in this field in Canada. We should be honoured that he left the Town land, money and his house for the enjoyment of the people of Comox to learn about and enjoy nature. You should NOT be moving to destroy that very house and making plans to overturn his will to do so.
I ask each of you to take a creative, bold step, to show courage to do the right thing, to honour the legal will and trust of a citizen of Comox, a man who trusted you to do what he asked you to do after he died and could no longer speak for himself. A man who gave the Town what is now Mack Laing Park that runs from the ocean to Balmoral Avenue, land that is worth millions of dollars.
I ask that you reject the three flawed recommendations of the committee: to demolish the house (against Laing’s will and trust); to turn it into a full-scale climate controlled museum (totally unrealistic and not the intention of Laing’s will); or to operate it as a limited access, by-appointment only facility (not Mack Laing’s wish at all – he wanted it as a way to educate the public about nature).
The committee never explored the obvious and best solution to fulfilling Laing’s will: to use it as a “Nature House”. This term is included in the title of the committee but it is an option they did not even consider exploring, so their findings are incomplete and thus must be disregarded.
I ask that you make a motion to create a modest Nature House. A recommendation that makes perfect sense. The ideal solution. One that fulfills the will of Mack Laing. One backed by local businesses, donors, and contractors willing to give their time to restore the building to the condition it was in at the time of his death.
Restore peace to the community. Honour a legal will and the trust money given to you.
Let’s make this work.
Lawrence Buser, Comox