Wheathampstead teacher buys his own island

PUBLISHED: 18:09 29 April 2012

Piers with his wife Pauline and their two children

Piers with his wife Pauline and their two children

Archant

A TEACHER from Wheathampstead has made headlines this week after purchasing his own island where he intends to spend eternity.

Piers Casimir-Mrowczynski purchased the uninhabited Mackenzie island, just off Scotland’s west coast, for £55,000.

And the 50 year old plans to make the small piece of land his final resting place when he dies.

Piers, who lives in Gustard Wood, said he was inspired to look for somewhere beautiful when he was diagnosed three years ago with cancer of the appendix.

He said: “I wasn’t working because of my illness and had a lot of time to think, primarily about practical matters.

“We are only alive for our lifetime but we are dead forever. I wanted to know that my final resting place would be somewhere I would be happy to spend all that time – I love the sea and Scotland is such a beautiful place.

“It took me some time to find the right one but we now have it and it’s the same amount of money someone buying a brand new 4x4 would spend on a car.”

The 42-acre piece of land, which is just off the island of Islay, has been designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest, but Piers only intends to scatter his and his wife Pauline’s ashes there.

The ICT teacher said some people were baffled by his decision to buy the island, with others accusing him of being selfish, but he says the land will very likely end up belonging to a charity in the future.

He said: “The area will still remain protected and cannot be developed on. It will now be protected forever.

He added: “When I first raised this idea with my family, they thought it was a strange idea. I think my two children still think it’s a strange idea, but I’m their dad and I think that’s just normal! But they do understand now why I wanted to do this.”

Piers is now in remission and he and his family plan to visit the island, which has no electricity, water or drainage system, this summer. But they are not fazed by this and instead are eager to see the wealth of wildlife, which includes grey seals and otters, the island attracts.


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