Letters of the week – Sept. 15

The Alberni Valley museum spurred on letters to the editor this week.

Alberni Museum ‘a treasure’

To the Editor,

Over the Labour Day weekend I had the pleasure of visiting Port Alberni to do some research on a Canadian soldier and poet from the First World War named Charles Samuel Bannell, who was a resident of Port Alberni from 1901 until 1916.

After his death in 1917 at the Battle of Passchendaele, Bannell’s family back in Liverpool published a small collection of his poetry titled His Offering. Many of his poems first appeared in one of Port Alberni’s historic newspapers, and I came to Port Alberni solely to go through 100-year-old copies of the Alberni Pioneer News, hoping to unearth some treasure. I did.

And the greatest treasure I discovered was your museum and archives.

I live in a suburb of Vancouver with roughly three times the population of Port Alberni and the immediate area is home to a quarter million people. We can boast nothing that comes even close to your museum.

All residents of Port Alberni should be rightly proud of the efforts of successive generations to carefully preserve and document Port Alberni’s history. Not only is the collection itself outstanding, but the fact that you have prioritized professional curators to catalogue, maintain and foster your collections is a credit to the city.

It is with some sadness that I note an editorial from earlier this year that the city is looking to cut costs, and is considering turning the collections and administration of the museum over to a non-profit society.  My appeal to every resident of Port Alberni is: do not let them do this.

Without professional staff managing your museum, your collection will suffer.

Consider for a moment what you have. Your museum has an Emily Carr painting: well-meaning volunteers would not have been able to bring that to Port Alberni. Your museum has the best collection of digitized photographs outside of Vancouver, the best collection of First Nations artifacts outside UBC’s Museum of Anthropology, and the best collection of early industrial artifacts outside the RBCM. You have a treasure. Do not let short-sighted politicians further degrade this asset.

James Calhoun,

Port Coquitlam

 

Just Posted

Port Alberni RCMP identify suspect in locker room thefts

Multiple complaints came in about thefts from Echo Centre lockers

Logging truck accident briefly closes Franklin River Road near Port Alberni

A single vehicle rollover involving a logging truck temporarily closed Franklin River… Continue reading

Set wizards make it happen at Mainstage Festival in Port Alberni

Eight plays in eight nights means turnover timelines are tight

Diary of Anne Frank, Cherry Docs dominate Mainstage 2019 awards

Annual theatre competition wraps up in Port Alberni

West Coast General Hospital Foundation steps up for Westhaven

The WCGH Foundation is a fundraising partner at Port Alberni hospital

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman sentenced to life in prison

Experts say he will likely wind up at the federal government’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Chinook retention begins on North Island, but amid new size limit

DFO calls measures ‘difficult but necessary’ following rockslide on Fraser River

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Injured humpback returns to waters near Comox a year later

Photographer spotted Ocular near Comox again and noticed the whale has been healing

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

Most Read