The century-old Hornsby Crawler steam tractor sits in the Lemare Lake Logging work yard near Port McNeill after being returned to North Vancouver Island on Aug. 31 following a seven-year absence.

McNeill declines Hornsby – for now

PORT McNEILL-Council passes on RDMW Heritage Registry but will explore possible inclusion in the future

PORT McNEILL—The Town essentially removed itself from consideration — or at least deferred its chances — as the final display location for the historic Hornsby Steam Crawler Tractor, which was recently returned to the North Island from Surrey following a protracted legal battle.

During deliberations in its regular meeting Oct. 1, council declined to join the Regional District of Mount Waddington Heritage Registry, a precondition for hosting the RD’s historical artifacts.

Joining the registry would cost the Town $2,500 per year, a cost councillors were not willing to accept at this time.

“We’ve got the steam donkey here, and we’ve got the burl,” coun. Shirley Ackland said. “We have heritage here we need to preserve. Before I would be willing to vote to put money into a regional plan, we need to look after the equipment we have here.”

When the North Island Heritage Society last month invited requests to house the Hornsby, which is in temporary storage at the Lemare Lake Logging yard south of Port McNeill, the Town offered a tentative affirmative.

Wickstrom, who was provided the RD’s information just two days earlier, informed council of the heritage bylaw requirement, kicking off a discussion that quickly made clear Port McNeill would not be a front-runner for the 100-year-old machine.

“My personal feeling is we have enough on our plate without encouraging us to get into a situation where there’s even more expenditures to lay out,” Mayor Gerry Furney said. “The Hornsby was retrieved by the people of Coal Harbour, and I have felt if Coal Harbour is interested in making a project of it, it would be a great attraction for them.”

Wickstrom reminded council that the question was not one of hosting the century-old Hornsby, the only one of its kind ever produced, but whether the Town was willing to join the RDMW Heritage Registry.

Currently, only Electoral Area C — which includes Coal Harbour — and Area D, which is working to secure funding through the registry to explore restoration of steam locomotive 113 in Woss, are members of the registry.

“If someone (in Port McNeill) did come forward with a proposal to display the Hornsby, we wouldn’t be in consideration,” Wickstrom said. “The question is whether we want to be part of the heritage registry at that cost, whether that crawler comes to us, or any other piece of machinery or equipment, for that matter.”

No motion was called on the Heritage Registry issue, but Wickstrom noted the Town could always choose to join in the future, and suggested the matter warranted further research.

“Seeing as you’ve done as much research as you have, would you like to take that on as a committee?” Furney asked Wickstrom. Then he added through the general laughter that followed, “This is called administration.”

Wickstrom said she would work with Town Administrator Sue Harvey on the issue.

 

Just Posted

Forest fire 1.5 km from Sara Lake listed as out of control

While the fire is classified as out of control, they expect it to be under control imminently.

62.5 pounder caught off north of Port Hardy

“It was a team effort to land this 62.5 lb fish”

20th annual OrcaFest takes over Port McNeill

Check out the North Island Gazette’s OrcaFest photo gallery!

Oh Yeah takes a bite out of Woodchuckers at OrcaFest slo-pitch tournament in Port McNeill

Oh Yeah defeated the Woodchuckers 21-10 after seven innings.

Gate House Theatre reopens, kicks off OrcaFest in style

It was an evening of laughter and good times and the perfect launch to the festival weekend.

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Vancouver Island RCMP hunt for man after pair of indecent exposure incidents

Elderly Qualicum Beach woman grabbed by man who had been masturbating in the woods

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Pile of wood mulch ‘spontaneously combusts’ at Vancouver Island industrial site

Business owner thanks fire department for quick response

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Groovy B.C. wedding a throwback to Woodstock ‘69

Couple hosts themed wedding 50 years after legendary festival

Nearly 50% of Canadians experience ‘post-vacation blues’: poll

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

Most Read