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The Mack Laing Heritage Society of the Comox Valley Newsletter
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Invitation


There will be a regular meeting of the MLHS on Thursday, December 8, 2016, 3:30 pm-4:30 pm, in the upstairs meeting room at Quality Foods, Driftwood Mall, Courtenay.
 
All members and supporters are welcome to attend.

For more information contact: macklaingsociety@gmail.com
SAVING SHAKESIDES
Built in 1949, Comox naturalist, Hamilton Mack Laing's hand-built second home was left in trust to the Town of Comox, with a $45,000 trust fund, to create and maintain a public natural history museum. Instead, the house was rented to tenants until 2014.
Town Council voted to demolish Shakesides in February 2015.
NEWS
 
In November 2016, Comox members of the MLHS submitted several Freedom of Information, public interest requests, to the Town of Comox, related to Shakesides and the Mack Laing Trust. These requests are currently under consideration.
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In August 2016, on the advice of Heritage BC, the MLHS commissioned a Heritage Assessment of Shakesides, by John Atkin & Elana Zysblat CAHP Heritage Consultants. A Statement of Significance report was issued, which may be read HERE.
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In June 2015, Moeller Mathews, chartered accountants, examined the financial reports of the Mack Laing Trust, presented to the public by the Town of Comox in January 2016. The accountant determined that if the $45,000 left in trust to the Town by Hamilton Mack Laing had been placed in a trust account in 1982, on Laing's death, it would now be worth over $480,000. Instead, the Town claims the trust fund is worth approximately $75,000.
In his Will, Mack Laing left the Town of Comox $45,000, of which 25% was to be used to convert his home, Shakesides in Mack Laing Park, into a “nature museum”. Interest on the remaining 75% of the trust fund was to be used to maintain it.
MLHS has determined that very little money would have been needed to convert the house into a no-frills museum or nature interpretive centre. It was in excellent condition and the Town collected rental income from it until until 2014. This income should also have been placed in the trust account.
Since none of the funds was used as directed by Laing in his Will, the MLHS has asked for clarification. The Moeller Mathews calculations can be downloaded as a pdf from the new item HERE
 
MLHS looks back on 2016 with a special photo montage.
Click on the image to view the news article,
where a full resolution image may be downloaded.
Copyright © 2016 Mack Laing Society of the Comox Valley, All rights reserved.


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