Debbie Trueman, Nanaimo Museum general manager, and John Manning, chairman of the museum’s board, hug at a function Wednesday honouring Trueman, who is about to retire. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

Nanaimo Museum will receive a bequest of half a million dollars

Money was gifted by Arthur Leynard, a life member of the museum

The Nanaimo Museum will be able to do even more to preserve, share and celebrate history as it is about to receive a half million dollar bequest.

Debbie Trueman, museum general manager, who is getting ready to retire after 29 years, made the announcement Wednesday evening at a function in honour of her coming retirement.

Arthur Leynard, a life member of the museum, left more than $500,000, and though he died in 2008, the bequest didn’t take effect until his widow died recently.

Trueman said the bequest was a shock and a pleasant surprise because Leynard was a soft-spoken man who never mentioned it.

“We had no idea that anything like this was coming our way. He was very active in the museum in the early years and it’s just such a wonderful gift,” Trueman said. “I wish we would have known about it when he was still alive, because it would have been wonderful to thank him in person.”

She suggested the bequest will “set the museum up for some nice long-term interest,” but no decisions have been made, the money has not been transferred and the exact dollar figure isn’t even known yet.

“When we have a new general manager, our board will work with the new general manager and the staff and start to now start planning ahead,” said John Manning, chairman of the museum’s board.

He said the board hasn’t discussed how the bequest will be used, but suggested it could be invested for an income stream, spent on capital, or any combination of uses.

“We haven’t gone through the machinations of talking about any of that stuff in any detail yet,” Manning said.

He said the bequest is exciting and an encouraging show of support for the museum.

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