New!- Minden Cultural Centre Staff respond

Loucks posts Letter to Editor to clarify employees positions

By Terrance Gavan

RD Lawrence Place co-ordinator Sheryl Loucks, and curator of the Minden Hills Museum, Caroline McLachlan-Darling, were both handed their walking papers last week. No explanation was provided by Minden Hills Council and apparently none will be, at least until the two terminated employees have had a chance to look over their severance packages.

Reeve Barb Reid and CAO Gerry Morrison did not respond to calls before our deadline; Councilor Brigitte Gall said that for the moment, Council will not be making any statements.

“We really can’t comment at this time. It’s to allow the employees time to look at their package and respond accordingly. They need their time and they don’t need to read things in any of the papers right now. We are letting them have the time they deserve.”

Gall added that once they have reviewed the packages, Loucks and McLachlan-Darling would have an opportunity to either accept the severance or seek advice. She also told The Highlander that once the gag order has been lifted she would be happy to comment on the situation.

Interim director of the Minden Hills Cultural Centre, Laurie Carmont,  posted a release pertaining to restructuring plans last week.

Loucks contacted the Highlander on Jan 31 via a Letter to the Editor with the following update:

Caroline McLachlan-Darling and I would first like to say how much we enjoyed our time working at the Minden Hills Cultural Centre. We both entered the museum field with great passion and energy and gave everything to our jobs each and every day, often volunteering our time to insure that events were the best possible.
We have been informed that the Cultural Centre is restructuring which means the end of our positions and we have both been invited to apply to any new positions when they get announced. We have both been provided with fair severance packages and reference letters.
Our jobs were terminated under a municipal restructure, not through any fault of our own, and our jobs, as they had been defined, no longer exist.

Barb Reid told the Minden Times that she would be issuing no comment on the firings and CAO Gerry Morrison specified in that same article that any explanations would come by way of a press release.

Sharon Lawrence, wife of RD Lawrence and a huge supporter of the Minden Cultural Centre, said on Wednesday that she had not been informed of any change in plans for RD Lawrence Place, nor has she had an opportunity to talk with Loucks.

“I realize that no comments will be made to the press until a press release is issued,” said Lawrence. She added that she had heard that the release would be coming “soon” probably in early February. “It’s not fair to make any comments until the release is issued.”

Lawrence added that a recent Cultural Centre newsletter specified that some programs would be continuing, a statement which could be interpreted to mean that others will be canceled; the newsletter added that the centre it is still open from Tuesday to Saturday, from 10 to 5. “I don’t exactly know what programs are running, but it’s open now, and I think we still are continuing the memoir writing class with Melody Richardson once a month.”

The Cultural Centre newsletter states that, “Programs and events are undergoing some changes at RD Lawrence Place. Please call 705-286-2808 or email culturalcentreinfo@mindenhills.ca to make sure that programs you are interested in are still running.”

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3 Responses to New!- Minden Cultural Centre Staff respond

  1. Pingback: Cultural Centre provides partial explanation for firings | The Highlander

  2. Dear Editor,
    Caroline McLachlan-Darling and I would first like to say how much we enjoyed our time working at the Minden Hills Cultural Centre. We both entered the museum field with great passion and energy and gave everything to our jobs each and every day, often volunteering our time to insure that events were the best possible.
    We have been informed that the Cultural Centre is restructuring which means the end of our positions and we have both been invited to apply to any new positions when they get announced. We have both been provided with fair severance packages and reference letters.
    Our jobs were terminated under a municipal restructure, not through any fault of our own, and our jobs, as they had been defined, no longer exist.
    We wish to thank the staff and volunteers at the centre for making our time there enriching and enjoyable and hope the centre will continue to evolve as it reaches ever higher levels of excellence. We thank the community for their past support in both our professional and personal lives here and hope Minden will prosper in 2012.
    Sincerely,
    Sheryl Loucks former R.D. Lawrence Place Coordinator
    Caroline McLachlan-Darling former Minden Hills Museum Curator

  3. I think it’s great that things are being looked at closely in this economic time. I’m sure attendance is not very high. I would like to know how many people go through there in a month or even a year.
    I support any and all restructuring!!! It’s about time. Way to go Council!!!

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