I don’t think it is appropriate for me to comment on the relative merits of the two staff members of the Oliver and District Heritage Society. It may, however, reassure Mr. McLennan to know that both staff members were served notice. The archivist position will also terminate but only after the board has an opportunity to determine the skill set that we will be seeking in a new managerial position. The archivist, Lynn Alaric, has agreed to support the board during this period of reassessment and will perform many of the functions Mr. McLennan says she has no interest in.
We have closed the museum building for the winter but we are not abandoning our museum role or our collection. I ask that the public have some patience over the period of reassessment and that the board be judged on the new direction that emerges in the spring.
Michael Newman, Chair
Oliver and District Heritage Society
See letter of Mr. McLennan below
Letter to the Editor:
The closing of the Museum is outrageous. The reason for closure is: “Newman told the Chronicle the decision came down to the hard reality that the Society could not support two staff positions and have any money left for active programming and projects”.
I have been involved with the Heritage Society as President, Vice-President and effectively as Budget Director for several recent years. Based on this experience, I find Mr. Newman’s comments completely unbelievable.
Moreover, the Board could have chosen to fire its other employee instead since this individual does not have the same qualifications or management skills as Mr. MacKenzie – he holds a Masters Degree in Archival Sciences. This alternate choice would have been better from a management point of view since Mr. MacKenzie could direct the operations of both the Museum and Archives. The other employee has shown no interest in managing the Museum, keeping the accounting records, preparing budget details, taking minutes and seeking monies from the many sources available. The Board now puts itself in charge of all these detailed, tedious activities. How logical is that?
Mr. MacKenzie’s contribution to the Society is already very large. The most significant is the creation of a Heritage Register for the Town of Oliver and the Regional District. It was such a privilege to work with Mr. MacKenzie and others to see these and other projects realized.
The current Board had no mandate to close the Museum. They have broken faith with many Oliverites, both past and present, who worked hard to obtain tax support for the Museum, who contributed artifacts, time, energy, and money to have the Museum as an ACTIVE part of this community.
Mr. MacKenzie is a towering intellect. I am also “… taken aback that the Board didn’t speak to him about his goals or visions for the museum ….”. It is such a loss not to have Mr. MacKenzie’s vision for the Heritage Society enjoyed over time.
We have instead a much less illustrious vision being suggested by a Heritage Board which seems to lack the competence to manage its business and personnel and has lost touch with the past.
How utterly disappointing!!!
How sad I am to realize that the MacKenzie family may now move away.