Heritage piece may find new home

Port McNeill Council discusses museum funding, relocation of the steam donkey, Loggers Golf Tournament and more.

PORT McNEILL—A good year for the Port McNeill Heritage Museum continued last week when council approved an increase in its annual funding to $15,000 for the 2013 fiscal year.

Based in part on a request by the heritage museum, council earlier this year voted to establish a Heritage Registry Bylaw and approved up to $2,000 in funding to assist in the registering of heritage items, as required.

The funding represented an increase over the current amount of $12,000.

“The Port McNeill Heritage Museum … has made some significant contributions through the efforts of volunteers to increase the awareness of heritage and history within the Town of Port McNeill,” museum director Margaret Hanuse wrote in a letter of request to council.

Among its contributions is a film, produced by Rob Marty of Frog House Productions and featuring retired logger Jenny Durke, on the history of women in logging on the North Island which was shown in the museum last year.

Hanuse said the film, Women in Log Scaling, is likely to be used by Dr. Maureen Reed, professor at the University of Saskatchewan, in future lectures, further promoting Port McNeill.

 

Donkey on move?

Council approved drafting of a letter to the local Rotary Club, to determine its interest and ability to relocate the historic steam donkey from its deteriorating wooden sledge on the waterfront to the head of the recently completed Rotary Trail on upper Campbell Way.

“Rotary was looking for something to place at the head of the trail,” coun. Grant Anderson said. “The community needs to decide where to put it. I understand we want it out of its current location so the town can expand parking at the waterfront.”

Coun. Gaby Wickstrom, noting the local Rotary Club’s recent success in construction and community improvement projects, said the group may be an appropriate host for the heritage piece.

“I think it’s a safety hazard,” she said. “It’s listing, it looks terrible and it needs to be fixed,” she said.

 

VIC gets help

David Mitchell, president of the Port McNeill Chamber of Commerce, notified council the town’s Visitor Information Centre should be well-staffed for the coming tourist season with the approval of funding for seasonal student positions.

“Up until a couple weeks ago we were sweating, because it didn’t look like our funding was coming through,” Mitchell said. “But we just found out we’re getting a federal grant to fund three positions — and we only requested two.”

Mitchell indicated two prospective summer employees had already been identified, and the VIC was seeking a third.

 

Logger golf donation

Council approved the donation of a combination boat launch and parking pass to directors of the annual Loggers Golf Tournament, scheduled for this weekend at Seven Hills Golf and Country Club.

The tournament is a benefit, with funds raised designated to local causes chosen by its directors. The launch and parking passes carry a value of $60.

 

Trustee report

Werner Manke, Port McNeill’s only representative on the School District 85 board of trustees, addressed council to report that — pending Ministry of Education approval — he would have company when the next board of trustees is elected in 2014.

The school board recently approve a realignment of the board’s representation, its first in 22 years, that would increase Port McNeill’s allotment of trustees from one to two members.

The new configuration is meant to more accurately reflect proportional representation in the areas served by the board’s seven members, and was approved in a special meeting of the trustees in late May.

“It has been a long time in coming,” Manke said. “I hope we can put it behind us now. I think it’s taken away from important work we should be doing.”