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Qualicum Beach council to invite group to present report on preservation of iconic lodge

Almost a year since society signed a lease with the town
Town of Qualicum Beach Mayor Brian Wiese, left, hands over the keys to the St. Andrews Lodge to Jay Smith, president of the St. Andrews Lodge Historical and Cultural Society on June 30, 2021. (Submitted photo)

Qualicum Beach council is inviting St. Andrews Lodge Historical and Cultural Society to give an update on the heritage waterfront lodge renovation.

It’s been almost a year since the society signed a lease with the Town of Qualicum Beach for the purpose of preserving the iconic building, which was spared from demolition by residents.

Coun. Teunis Westbroek said based on the lease, council should allow the society’s board to make a presentation in an open meeting to highlight the progress they’re making and what future plans they have for the lodge.

“It would be good for the community to hear that report here at a public meeting,” said Westbroek. “Afterwards we can go in-camera and deal with the details of how we’re going to proceed.”

Westbroek added the board should forward their presentation to town staff for perusal and review to ensure there are no items included that would have legal repercussions to the town or society.

READ MORE: Renovation of historic St. Andrews Lodge in Qualicum Beach can begin

Coun. Scott Harrison noted that the society aims to tap the provincial government grants to upgrade the lodge but he fears there won’t be money available.

“The intent here is to sort of solve a bit of logjam,” said Harrison. “Refurbishing the St. Andrews Lodge building is a very expensive project. And one thing I want to flag, I’m not trying to debate the wisdom of the provincial government in this. This is really not my intent. But I do want to flag that the museum funding for Victoria is the similar funding stream for historical buildings across the province and there might not be as much grant money in the next few years because of that decision.”

Harrison was referring to the province’s cancellation of the controversial $789-million plan to rebuild the Royal B.C. Museum in Victoria. He made a motion at the June 8 council meeting that the question ‘should the town spend the necessary funds to refurbish the St. Andrews Lodge building?’ be place on the ballot in the coming municipal elections. But he deferred it to the next council meeting in July to wait for more information from the society.

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Michael Briones

About the Author: Michael Briones

I rejoined the PQB News team in April 2017 from the Comox Valley Echo, having previously covered sports for The NEWS in 1997.
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