Join Trevor Marc Hughes for an illustrated presentation of Hamilton Mack Laing’s previously unpublished memoir, Riding the Continent, at 7pm on Tuesday, June 11 at the Courtenay & District Museum.
Laing, who built two houses in Comox and lived here for many decades, was an illustrious early British Columbia writer and naturalist. But few know him as how he described himself in his mid-thirties: a motorcycle-naturalist. For several years beginning in 1914, Laing used the motorcycle to access the natural world, believing it gave him a distinct advantage over other forms of transportation. During this period in his life, he would take on a transcontinental journey, riding across the United States from Brooklyn to Oakland in 1915.
Riding the Continent tells the story of a pioneering motorcyclist and independently thinking naturalist as well as an unusual road trip. As Laing put it, “the lure of the unending road is a call that will not be denied.” Laing’s tale explores the beauty of North America’s bird life, describes the sights, scenery and people he encountered, and takes us along for the ride on a 1915 Harley-Davidson he named Barking Betsy. Laing’s legacy lives on in his gifting of his house and property to the Town of Comox as a nature preserve.
Copies of Riding the Continent will be available for purchase ($19.95, Ronsdale Press) and signing after the talk.
Admission to the evening is $5 per Historical Society member; $6 non-members. Advance tickets recommended. Tickets go on sale Friday, May 17, 2019,
The Courtenay and District Museum is located at 207 Fourth Street in downtown Courtenay. FMI or to purchase tickets over the phone: 250-334-0686 ext.2.