Masset Harbour Day will make a comeback on Saturday, May 19. It’s a beary good time. (Haida Gwaii Observer/File photo)

News in Brief — Dec. 8, 2017

Harbour Day 2.0

Masset’s Harbour Day is making a comeback, and moving back to the May long weekend.

Mayor Andrew Merilees said council recently voted to switch the date back to May from August after local school and community groups said it was a better time for volunteers. Harbour Day didn’t run this summer for lack of volunteers the year before.

“People said, ‘You know, the weather wasn’t as good, but it was better for volunteers and being able to participate,’” Merilees said.

Now that the day is marked on the calendar — Harbour Day will be held on Saturday, May 19 — Merilees said council will gather feedback on what activities people would like to do.

“Everybody wants to do the pancake breakfast, the firemen’s hamburgers for lunch, and a fish fry at the Legion,” he said. The only question now is what to do in between to to burn it all off.

Some suggested making the Delkatla the new focus for Harbour Day, to celebrate the sanctuary and its trails. Another idea is to maintain the link with the Agate Man Triathlon. Normally held in August, the family-friendly mini-triathlon starts with a 500-metre swim at Pure Lake and ends with a 20 km cycle to town and a 6 km run around Delkatla.

Scholarship winners

Khataya Brown of Skidegate and Owen Harris of Masset have each won Aboriginal Student Awards from the Irving K. Barber B.C. Scholarship Society. The society issues awards of $1,000 to $5,000 to Indigenous students each year through a competitive process, and they can be put towards all kinds of post-secondary programs.

Brown’s scholarship will go toward her studies at Simon Fraser University, while Harris will put his towards studies at Douglas College.

Mailing It In

Queen Charlotte councillors recently voted in favour of a new bylaw that will allow mail-in ballots for future council elections and referendum votes.

Mayor Greg Martin said the village got several requests for mail-in voting, and council wanted to make the change before the Feb. 24 referendum on the sewage treatment plan. Village staff said it was an oversight not to have it in place already.

Besides giving people a chance to vote while off-island, Councillor Jo-Anne MacMullin that it may also be helpful for people staying in the Haida Gwaii Hospital or those who have difficulty leaving home.

Furry Hall

HG PAWS will get the first chance to buy or lease the old Queen Charlotte fire hall on Oceanview Drive once the new one is up and running on 2nd Avenue.

The Haida Gwaii Pro-Animal Welfare Society asked council to consider the option because the local BC SPCA branch will lose its cat-fostering centre in Queen Charlotte this February and will also need to find a new place for foster dogs in the next year or two.

For keeping dogs in the village, HG PAWS is looking at soundproofing and freestanding dog “apartments” that house dogs in pairs — an arrangement that tends to foster quieter behaviour. The number of stray cats and dogs has declined in recent years, and HG PAWS expects to have an average of about three dogs and five cats at any one time, with an occasional rabbit.

Matt Pierce and George Westwood, who provide volunteer funeral care on Haida Gwaii, have also requested space in the old fire hall to store a hearse that was recently rebuilt by fellow volunteers in Logan Lake.

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