On September 3rd, a staff member from Public Works and a private consultant met with four of our committee to inspect and measure the lighthouse. They had instructions that work needed to be done, but they hadn’t heard of our business plan. We brought them up to speed, and left them with a copy of our plans. This is a hopeful sign that the community might soon be able to secure the lighthouse for future generations, but we won’t be doing any work updating the plans until we have confirmation from the federal government that the transfer of the lighthouse is underway.
The Federal Government has announced new infrastructure funds for North Rustico lighthouse and other lighthouses on PEI. Our group was not involved at all in this announcement, but we shall update the website when we find out more details. The government press release can be seen at http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?mthd=tp&crtr.page=3&nid=1011179&crtr.tp1D=1
On September 25th 2013, the lighthouse was awarded a Provincial Designated Heritage Place plaque and certificate. Trudy MacDonald and Andrew Lush of Friends of North Shore Communities accepted the plaque and certificate from Tourism Minister Robert Henderson. Also in the picture is Eric Gallant of the Souris Harbour Authority, who hosted the event. There was also a meeting of the PEI Lighthouse Society, at which Trudy was elected to the position of Vice President.
credit : PEI Government, B. Simpson, photographer.
We have our business plan in place, builders estimates have been received, and requests for funding have been issued. Now we need to wait until the property boundary of the lighthouse is resolved as right now the lighthouse shares a parcel with an adjacent building. This process is beyond our control. As soon as this issue is sorted, then our next step is to chase up our funding applications. Following that, there’s a lot of work ahead preparing detailed restoration plans.
It has been an eventful year in the history of the North Rustico lighthouse and, on behalf of the Friends of North Shore Communities, it gives us great pleasure to thank you for your support in our endeavours to preserve the heritage of the light for years to come and to wish you every comfort, joy, health and happiness throughout the festive season and the New Year. To read our newsletter, click this link: 2012 calendar newsletter
Friends of North Shore Communities held a public meeting on October 3rd at North Rustico Lions Club to present business proposals for the use of the North Rustico lighthouse, and seek community support for one of those proposals. At a previous meeting in April, members of the community had a chance to express their views, concerns and suggest various uses for the lighthouse. Members of the Friends of North Shore Communities used the information gathered at that meeting as they decided what kind of business plan would be submitted to the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. The deadline for proposals was originally May, 2015, but was later changed to November 1, 2012.
At the October 3rd meeting, two separate proposals were presented. After each presentation people had a chance to comment, ask questions, voice concerns, and make suggestions. The first proposal was for high quality cottage accommodation. The interior of the lighthouse would be restored to reflect a previous era, possibly mid 20th century, and provide accommodation for two. There would be a small kitchen but it is envisaged that most main meals would be taken at the local restaurants. A bathroom and waste management system would be installed. The restoration would embody many environmental and energy-saving features. Also, the lighthouse would open for a determined period of time to the public and would be available for educational purposes to support local schools. The possibility of an “Artist in Residence” is also being explored. There were many useful comments and questions, which will be used to help develop our business plan.
The second proposal was for a retail outlet. The ground floor of the lighthouse would be used as a retail outlet for local foods and other products, while the upper floor would contain a heritage reproduction of a lighthouse keeper’s accommodation with a heritage information centre and multimedia displays. There would also be a washroom and storage. Products would reflect the best of local produce, and the outlet would operate throughout the tourist season but could be enhanced by the production, sale and distribution of hampers containing a range of local products. Again, there were many comments and suggestions.
A vote was taken, with 18 people voting in favour of the first proposal (accommodation) and 12 in favour of the second (market) out of a total of 40 attendees. This was seen as sufficient support to take the first proposal forward, develop the plan further, and submit it in time for the November 1 deadline. Meeting participants were asked to leave contact information with organizers and, if interested, offer more suggestions by email. Meeting organizers agreed to work on the proposal, incorporate suggestions, and address concerns, before submitting the business plan to DFO.