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Hamilton Mack Laing

Comox Archives and Museum
Comox, British Columbia

Hamilton Mack Laing, naturalist, author, photographer, and artist, made his home in Comox on Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Born in 1883 in Ontario, Laing grew up on a Manitoba farm, attended art school in New York, and traveled the American west before becoming a school principal, photographer, writer, naturalist, bird collector, and nut farmer during his 99 short years. The Comox Valley is an Important Bird Area of global significance, as was evident in 1922 when Laing chose to live here. Laing collected specimens for the National Museum of Canada, wrote for almost every North American outdoor nature magazine, and was a friend and contemporary of many noted ornithologists, including Allan Brooks and P.A.Taverner. A realist in his art and writing, the management of nature was part of Laing’s philosophy of conservation. The storylines of this exhibit of 155 items use images, text, and sound, to portray six themes: Laing’s art, writing, expeditions, philosophy, his life in Comox, and Mack Laing Park. Much of Laing’s artwork, many photographs and writings, as well as reference materials and artifacts, are housed at the Comox Archives & Museum. He left his house and land to the Town, to be kept as a nature park for future generations.



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