By Rhiannon Day
Special to The Record
“I really fear for the Earth,” said donor of Molson Island, Andrew Howick, on Thursday May 18, while addressing members of the Stanstead Township community during a dedication ceremony in his name. In 2021, Howick donated the entirety of Molson Island, a large piece of undeveloped land in Lake Memphremagog, to the Nature Conservancy of Canada. In doing so, he effectively preserved the land as a completely natural site forever, a decision that many members of the community hope will inspire others to do similar actions. To honour Howick and his donation, the municipality Stanstead Township held a tree planting ceremony in Georgeville.
The tree planting ceremony began at 5 p.m. on Thursday with a speech by Gisèle Lacasse Benoit, a member of the Administrative Council for Memphremagog Conservation Inc. and bilingual speeches by councillor of Stanstead Township, Louise Hébèrt, and Mayor Pierre Martineau. “We just hope your donation will be a great example for others to do the same,” said Martineau, who then presented Howick with a glass birdhouse made by a local artist in recognition of his donation. “This considerable island and its thriving biodiversity, a jewel of the lake, will be protected forever,” said Municipal Councillor Hébèrt. She also thanked both the government of Canada and that of Quebec for their various programs and tax benefits that support ecological sensitive land donations such as this one.