The Comox Valley Naturalists Society (CVNS) has stated its objection to the Town of Comox’s application to change the Trust of noted Canadian naturalist, Hamilton Mack Laing (1883-1982).

CVNS, established in 1966 and formerly known as The Comox-Strathcona Natural History Society, has been since at least 1979, a more than willing partner to bring about the realization of the explicit terms of Laing’s Trust.

As the two letters, dated 1979 and 1981, recently found in Laing’s correspondence in the BC Archives, the CVNS has been associated with Laing Trust since its inception. We worked with Laing in close cooperation with his special executrix, Comox Alderman Alice Bullen, up to his death in 1982.

The Town of Comox is filing in court to change the Hamilton Mack Laing Trust. CVNS feels that this application culminates 35 years of demonstrable misuse and neglect of the Trust. The Environmental Heritage and Culture Group (EH&C) of the CVNS is seeking Intervenor status to protect and further the intention of the will-maker.

This action is being taken in accordance with the Society’s Constitution which reads, in part;

2. The objects of the society are: (a) To encourage the study of natural history, and to stimulate active interest in ecology, and the protection, conservation and wise utilization of natural resources”.

As late as 2013 when the town was in possession of both of Laing’s heritage homes, “Baybrook” and “Shakesides”, CVNS together with other environmental societies prominent in the Comox Valley, drew on extensive professional heritage, marketing and engineering expertise and proposed a reasonable compromise to apply the terms of the Trust to at least one of Laing’s former homes.

CVNS will be applying for Intervenor Status in any judicial hearing or court where these matters are addressed, that we may provide evidence of the poor handling of the Trust by the Town of Comox since its inception. In response to the pending application from Comox, CVNS would like to provide possible alternate resolutions to the Trust issue.

Documents pertaining to this story can be found under the post on the MLHS website here: