What price do you put on history?

A call for electors to contact their representatives for a stay of execution

To the Expositor:

What price do you put on history?

When one travels to Europe, much of the United States, South America, or even some spots in Canada, some of the most interesting and visited sites are those with some sort of historical significance. 

Obviously some of the sites in these countries are far older than anything we have in Canada but we do have many structures that are worth saving.

One such building is the Old School in Mindemoya. Even though in a global historical sense it is not very old, it is one of the oldest buildings left on all of Manitoulin Island. The beautiful old buildings that once housed Wagg’s Creamery, the Bank of Montreal, and the Manitoulin Telephone Company have long since been demolished. 

This is it folks! The last one! It doesn’t matter whether you are from Providence Bay, Spring Bay, Sandfield or Mindemoya. It doesn’t matter if you attended the school or not. It doesn’t matter if you are a year round or seasonal citizen.

What does matter is that this is a beautiful old building that is one of a kind and worth preserving. 

Congratulations to the young people who saw the beauty, history and potential in the old McDermid’s store in Providence Bay. 

In Collingwood, where we spend part of the year, an old hotel that was in disrepair and had a very bad reputation, has been restored. Again, a couple of young entrepreneurs saw the potential in the beautiful old structure. Now it houses galleries, shops and a café. It is an extremely popular spot that draws people from all over.

It seems there is a pressing need to demolish our school as quickly as possible. Why is there such a rush? There is no heat or hydro at this time and the roof is not leaking. Surely the insurance can’t be that high? Is the building currently costing the township any money to sit vacant, and if so, how much? How seriously has our council looked into possible purchasers?

Given more time and some honest effort in advertising for someone with a vision, this stately old building could become one more attraction for the area.

Central Manitoulin council is meeting on September 28 at which time they will draw up the forms necessary for tenders to demolish this unique treasure. Let’s all step up to the plate and make our voices heard!

I urge you to please contact the Township of Central Manitoulin Council, Mayor Richard Stephens and the municipal office to make your opposition known. Also spread the word to former students or others who might care about this pressing issue. Thanks!

Submitted by a former student,
Lynn Quesnel
Collingwood and Mindemoya