Comox Logging and Railway Locomotive 11 and the Humdurgin are two artifacts Ladysmith’s Historical Society wants to restore and display permanently in a museum setting. But the Town of Ladysmith is not in a position

Machine Shop use derails meeting

Leads to a testy exchange between Mayor Aaron Stone and the Ladysmith Historical Society’s Shirley Blackstaff

Questions over future use of the heritage Machine Shop on Oyster Bay Drive, in what is known as The Railway District, led to a testy exchange between Mayor Aaron Stone and the Ladysmith Historical Society’s Shirley Blackstaff at the Sept. 28 meeting of Ladysmith Council.

Blackstaff wanted to know what future use is intended for a large, municipally-owned space – formerly used as a machine shop by Comox Logging & Railway – behind the Waterfront Gallery and the Ladysmith Maritime Society’s Harbour Heritage Centre.

Earlier in the meeting council had initiated a proposal to lease the nearby Roundhouse building to the heritage society for up to four years to use for the restoration of railroad artifacts, including a steam locomotive and a unique logging car known as the Humdurgin.

But during question period Blackstaff said she is concerned the Town is backing away from what she took to be a commitment to use the larger Machine Shop as a permanent museum to house and display railroad and other large artifacts that are part of Ladysmith’s industrial heritage.

Without assurances that the Machine Shop space will be available to display the artifacts in a museum setting, she said it would be difficult to get volunteers to put in the hours it will take to restore them.

“If for a moment they thought it would go outside, under a roof, with a chain-link fence around it, or on a slab by the highway, they’re going to say to me, ‘No, we’re not going to help’,” Blackstaff said.

Stone assured her the Town had no intention of leaving the artifacts exposed to the elements. “You could string any one of us up if we didn’t fight to have the locomotive protected,” he said.

But he pointed out that an advisory group has been established to consider future uses for the Machine Shop, and that council cannot pre-empt the recommendations of that group. “We can’t as a council make arbitrary decisions without going to those other stakeholder groups,” he said.

He indicated there is interest among members of the advisory group to use the Machine Shop as a heritage and cultural centre.

City Manager Ruth Malli, when asked how to proceed, said, “You have a process in place to recommend use for that building, my recommendation is that you complete that and expedite it.”



Just Posted

Sanseverino limbing mountains to understand mountains

Ladysmith Camera Club hosts Mountain Legacy Project shooter to talk Canada’s changing wilderness

Ladysmith’s Weeks destined to help visitors

New Chemainus Visitor Centre Manager brings impressive credentials to the job

Historic 75th AGM highlights successes of LDCU

Ladysmith District Credit Union celebrated 75 years of service at their annual general meeting.

Father’s anguish remains three years after son’s murder in Chemainus

Derek Descoteau remembered as a young man with such a great future ahead

Have a say in the planning and development of Ladysmith

The Town is looking for residents who are engaged in their community to serve on a new committee.

UPDATE: B.C. pilot killed in Honduras plane crash

The crash happened in the Roatan Islands area, according to officials

B.C. VIEWS: Reality of our plastic recycling routine exposed

Turns out dear old China wasn’t doing such a great job

Carbon dioxide at highest levels for over 2.5 million years, expert warns of 100 years of disruption

CO2 levels rising rapidly, now higher than at any point in humanity’s history

RCMP arrest violent offender on Vancouver Island

Police struggle with suspect and take him down with a taser

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

Mother dead, child in critical condition after carbon monoxide poisoning at Shuswap campground

The woman was found unresponsive insider her tent and the youth was taken via air ambulance to hospital

Canada’s parole officers say correctional system has reached breaking point

About half of Canada’s federal parole officers work inside penitentiaries and correctional institutions

Montreal researchers create audible hockey puck for visually impaired players

Three years ago, Gilles Ouellet came up with the idea for a puck that makes a continuous sound

Vancouver Island MusicFest: ‘House bands’ from the golden age of rock and R&B

Some of America’s greatest session musicians are coming to the Comox Valley this summer

Most Read