CAMPUS

Halifax choir will go without new robes after theft

Over $300 in donations stolen from the choir office at the University of King’s College

Over $300 disappeared from the office of the Director of Chapel Music this November.
Over $300 was stolen from the Capella Regalis Men and Boys Choir this November.   Alexander Quon

A choir of men and boys in Halifax will be going without new robes after around $300 dollars was stolen from their manager’s office.

The Capella Regalis Men & Boys Choir is a small non-profit choir founded five years ago by Nick Halley. Vanessa Halley is the choir manager and Halley’s sister. She says the money meant a lot to an organization run on a shoestring budget.

“It truly is a labour of love,” she said. “But the issue is that we cannot last much longer doing all the things we do without more money.”

Halley said the money was gathered from collection plates, which had been put out over the course of a few weeks while the choir performed at the Cathedral Church of All Saints in downtown Halifax.

When she returned from collecting the money on a Saturday in early November, she placed the money in envelopes on her desk at the University of King’s College. Halley planned to deposit it once it had all been counted, but when she returned on the Tuesday the money was gone.

This sign was placed by Vanessa Halley, asking for the money to be returned.
This sign was placed by Vanessa Halley, asking for the money to be returned.   Alexander Quon

She estimates the amount was around $300, but she was not able count it before it was stolen.

Halley said she did not report the theft to police but did inform the university’s department of facilities.

Director of Facilities speaks

Alex Doyle is the director of facilities and is in charge of campus security. He said he was alerted a few days after the theft happened.

“The person who experiences the theft is supposed to report it to the police, then they are supposed to report it to us on our end,” he said. “The problem was that it happened over quite a period of time and her door was open.”

Halley says her office is often left open and unlocked to allow music librarians access to the library of song books in the office.

Doyle said that is part of the problem and even if the police had been notified, they would not have been able to do much.

“The police are going to say right away, ‘Well there is nothing we can do, I mean the door was left open, it’s a high traffic area and money was sitting there for a long time,’” he said. “They are just going to say your chances [of recovering the money] are pretty slim.”

Director of facilities, Alex Doyle, says thefts like this don't happen often at the University of King's College.
Director of facilities, Alex Doyle, says not much can be done in cases like this.   Alexander Quon

Doyle recommends doors should be locked if there is something of value inside.

Looking toward the future

Halley says the Capella Regalis Choir is small and the stolen money will hurt them now and in the future. She says many people think the choir is funded by King’s or receives grants from the government. But the only source of income is from individual donors.

As a result, Halley says neither she nor Nick Halley have been paid for their work since last spring.

“We simply can’t afford it,” she said. “We pay all of our other bills first.”

However, Halley is hopeful that whoever took the money will return it. If they do, she says it will be accepted with no questions asked.