By Cecilia Nasmith/Today’s Northumberland
It was almost two years ago, in July 2020, the Victoria Hall Heritage Maintenance Trust Fund held a photo op in front of the grand hall’s fenced-off entrance to present the Town of Cobourg with $10,000 to support the restoration of the parapet and front pillars.
On June 13, 2022, with the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic (it is to be hoped) subsiding, Trust Fund President Edward Cunnington returned to Victoria Hall through unbarricaded doors to present Mayor John Henderson with a further $5,000 for this work, which was undertaken in 2020-2021.
These were the months when, much of the time, the building’s entrance was closed off. It was remarked at the July 2020 event that this would prove a bonus for the work by eliminating foot traffic that would otherwise have been quite busy.
This donation brings to $125,000 the amount that the Trust Fund has now donated to the town for a variety of heritage-maintenance projects (such as chimney repairs and repairs to the clock tower in 2002 and 2014).
The Trust Fund was established in 1988 with a mandate to invest and distribute funds remaining from the third phase of Victoria Hall’s reconstruction and restoration that was completed in the 1980s. When the Society for the Restoration of Victoria Hall disbanded, its monies were transferred to the Trust Fund to be administered by a committee, invested and used for the on-going maintenance of the heritage aspects of Victoria Hall.
Thanks to careful professional management and higher interest rates in the past, this fund has grown from its initial $60,000 to $103,647 (as of December 2021).
The committee meets twice a year to review finances and approve investment decisions.
Summer meetings begin with a walk-about with town staff to assess the exterior and interior, to see what maintenance issues have been addressed and what is planned for the coming year. This gives committee members an opportunity to raise any concerns, and make recommendations to staff.
When the Trust Fund was established, it was determined that the immediate past president and treasurer of the Victoria Hall Volunteers would always serve on the committee (and that their treasurer would automatically act as treasurer of the Trust Fund. The president and secretary are elected from committee members.
At present, the executive consists of President Edward Cunnington, Secretary Margaret MacKenzie and Treasurer Sarah Holland. Committee members are Bruce MacNeil, Boris Nikolovsky, Marlynne Warling and Leona Woods.
The Victoria Hall Heritage Maintenance Trust Fund is a registered charity. If you are interested in donating, contact any committee member or call Holland at 905-349-3710.