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Letter: Save Elkington House before it's too late

Time is of the essence for saving Elkington House

Dear North Cowichan Mayor and Council:

We believe time is of the essence for council to work with the Oak Park Heritage Preservation Society toward finally saving Elkington House. Sadly, it’s our municipality’s only designated heritage house.

Details about Elkington House, its owners, and the society are found in a recent sixmountains column.

We now strongly urge council to contact the society and the Nature Conservancy of Canada forthwith to hammer out details for its new ownership and renovation.
Tons of heritage-building expertise exists in Cowichan. Those folks should be consulted toward this vital restoration project as Elkington House has languished empty during decades of red-tape and talk about its logical preservation.

Timing is prefect: the society has a $350,000 federal-restoration grant but that purse cannot be used until ownership issues are resolved.

We urge council to prioritize this no-brainer preservation project. Many fear Elkington House may be the victim of arson or other vandalism.
While those talks happen — and council helps sniff for more heritage conservation grants — we strongly suggest security guards be hired to protect our priceless artifact.
We also suggest seeking public input, through the society, for ideas about various future uses of Elkington House.

Yours in heritage preservation,
Peter W. Rusland,
North Cowichan