Neglect of Campbell River artist’s family home disappointing

We are disappointed by the neglect of the Walter Morgan Boat Shed, part of the Sybil Andrews/Walter Morgan property in Willow Point.

The Sybil Andrews Cottage was restored in 2011 and as part of the property saved, we expected the boat shed restorations to follow shortly thereafter. Approximately five years ago the Rotary Club, (hands-on) put a new roof on the shed. They too expected continuing heritage restoration work.

The Sybil Andrews Cottage is first on the newly created CR Heritage list. No. 2 on the list is the Willow Point Hall, next to the Cottage. The shed is a unique build worthy of heritage status in its own right but connected to the Cottage, makes for a quaint and purposeful heritage & art enclave.

The rafters inside the shed have amazed many people who have an eye for such architecture. Designed and built by Walter Morgan from (old) architectural plans or ideas, gives this building even more heritage uniqueness. The seaside double doors, Walter built in the likeness of a boats bow. Inside is a huge work-bench, also built by Walter, where he constructed small boats. The boat shed must have been a huge endeavour for a gentleman with a hook for one hand. Walter also built the addition to the Cottage which Sybil used as her teaching studio.

What has continued with the shed has been constant deterioration. It has endured very well over many years but the last 6 years have seen destruction not only from winter after winter of wear and tear on the south east side, the window frames have been used for beach fires and the bottom edges kicked in to gain entry for obvious reasons. This summer heat was particularly worrisome, smokers were seen in the tall neglected grass around the Shed and their buts are everywhere. Because it looks more and more derelict as the years go by the shed becomes more of a target for vandalism.

In the 2016 budget the City of Campbell River designated money to restore the Walter Morgan shed. Now we hear the project is on hold once again. If money is once again the problem, we the special friends of the Cottage (Divas & Gardeners) could have been fund-raising again to help, had we known.?

This purpose-filled heritage gem needs work to start immediately, why should the building have to take another winter storm, especially on the south-side/parking-lot.

Chel Bassoni, Bonnie MacDougall, Bev Nolan, Mary Teer,

Past executive members of the Sybil Andrews Heritage Society

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