Here is the latest news from the society.
As all of you should be aware, the society was examining the possibility of acquiring the caboose, which currently resides in Prince Arthur’s Landing in Thunder Bay. Several meetings were held with members of city administration, followed by a deputation to council on May 4th. At the time we were very confident that the city would donate this piece of history to the society so we could relocate it to Silver Mountain to serve as a historical attraction and museum.
If you followed the local media you would be aware that our plans and subsequent deputation caused quite a stir among local residents. There were many people who spoke out against city council for not maintaining its cultural heritage; others were concerned about the loss of the caboose from the Marina and the city. It certainly created a lot more controversy than we anticipated.
With this in mind, the subject of the caboose was discussed at length at the May 27th meeting of the board. There was a lot of concern among members of the executive that the animosity currently directed toward city administration and city council would eventually turn toward the society for “stealing” a piece of Thunder Bay’s history (in spite of our repeated statements to the contrary). Our sole intention regarding the caboose was to save this great piece of history and give it the care and attention it needed, even if it was from Silver Mountain. Other concerns revolved around the expense and complications of moving such a large, fragile object 60 kilometres outside the city.
With much reluctance, the board decided to ask city council to rescind our request for the caboose. We were required to submit that request in writing to the City Clerk’s office to satisfy all the legal requirements of the process. This accounts for the delay in notifying the membership of our intent as we wanted to give council an opportunity to receive our letter before it went public.
It saddens us that we had to make this decision, but the whole process was becoming too political for our organization. We are very grateful for the assistance we received from city administration and the opportunity we were given to speak to council. We hope that a group does step forward with a plan that will ensure this great piece of history receives the protection it deserves. The board has begun looking at other options for a museum at Silver Mountain and we will share that information as soon as it is prudent to do so.
New board member.
At our May 27th meeting, the board ratified the appointment of Brett Starrs as the society’s secretary for 2015-2016. This position was left vacant following the AGM in March and it allows society Vice-President Kyle Duckworth to return to his normal duties after wearing two hats for the past few months. Brett comes to us with experience from the Lakehead University Historical Society and brings a little more youth to the society board. We look forward to working with him for the next two years.