As a director for the RDMW and as a resident of Coal Harbour I was sad to read some acrimonious letters to the Gazette last week regarding the recovery and display of the Hornsby Crawler. Without doubt, the return of the crawler last fall to its owner, the Regional District of Mt. Waddington, was a legal victory a long time coming that was accomplished by the work of many people. Now that it is back I would like to echo the sentiment expressed by the editor of this paper, the last thing we need is bitterness over where it will go.
It is also pretty important to note that although the RDMW staff and lawyers did the legal work of getting the Hornsby back as part of their paid jobs at the instruction of the board, James Furney was fairly key at certain moments of the recovery as a volunteer. Whether he “nefariously” would like to see the Hornsby in Port McNeill or not, in my opinion he does not deserve to be singled out as any kind of villain in this situation. Rather he should be thanked for giving up his own time and energy on behalf of the North Island Community.
Coal Harbour is proposing to house and display the Hornsby Crawler. That proposal will be presented to the RDMW board and the North Island Heritage Society. I am fully satisfied that proposal will be considered on its merits and feasibility, both in terms of present day practicalities and historical association.
Any other community within the RD heritage service that is willing to do the work and go through the steps needed has the right to propose the same. To deny that would be to go down the road of improper process and unevenly applied regulation. I ran for director to represent Area C communities fairly, and to represent the greater regional district as a whole, not as a rabid advocate of my own community at all costs.
I encourage all North Island residents to join Team North Island — our differences between communities are less than our similarities. I believe we should agree and disagree amicably. If we do that I am certain we will see our shared quality of life rise. In difficult times there is nothing more disheartening than negativity.
I hope that as things go forward in our communities our contributions trend towards the positive. I hope that a “lump of rusty iron/important historical artifact”, wherever it ends up, will be more cause for us to look at our mutual history than our present differences, if any.
RDMW, Director Area C