It is with great gratitude and respect that the Metchosin Foundation has received a bequest in the amount of $20,000 from the estate of long-time Metchosin resident Professor Charles Priester. We who serve on the board of this Foundation will honour this bequest as his true bond with the future of this land and community.
Professor Priester passed away in February 2016 at the age of 80 years, having gained great distinction in the areas of Economics and Finance, travelled the world and contributed greatly to the community of Metchosin. His wife Valerie Cochran was a dedicated community volunteer, including serving as editor of this Metchosin Muse for many years. Both of these strong, accomplished people were strong supporters of the work of Pearson International College. In fact, after Valerie passed away in September of 2014, Charles established the Valerie Cochran Memorial Fund to be a key resource for students from around the world who find themselves suddenly faced with a crisis that demands their immediate return home. The Metchosin Foundation has been managing this memorial fund in partnership with Pearson College administrators for the past two years.
This most recent and generous bequest will support and enhance the work of the Metchosin Foundation to promote healthy lands, healthy waters and a healthy caring community. Educating our young people is among the most vital services we have identified over the past year. An emphasis on education over the past year has resulted in a range of supports. For the youngest students in school, the MF has produced boxed sets of 50 Nature Cards featuring the most common plants in this region, as well as backpacks containing magnifying glasses, tweezers and storage vials to help these junior explorers sample the forest environment in which we live. Scholarships in four key areas have been made available in 2017 to four graduating students living in Metchosin or Beecher Bay who are seeking to continue their education in a range of fields: Cyrus Dinh, Savannah Askew, Abbey Christ-Rowling and Stacey Charles. For adults, we support the monthly Walk ‘n Talk sessions focusing on key environmental issues in our region (next scheduled for Sept 22 and 23).
As always, we work with land owners who wish to preserve their sensitive ecologies in perpetuity by assisting them with the legal costs and labour involved to establish conservation covenants. Currently, we are working in a two-year partnership with the Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) to support and advise Metchosin landowners whose properties are adjacent to running water to effectively manage and protect the integrity of those ecologies.
We encourage anyone in Metchosin to include a bequest to support our work as you undertake your estate planning. Please refer to our website at www.metchosinfoundation.ca and note that we are a registered charity.