To the Editor:
This letter was sent to the board of trustees of the Vineyard Trust.
I have just learned that the Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust has officially changed its name to Vineyard Trust. In my view, that is a serious mistake.
The new name is nondescriptive to the point of being meaningless. The name “Vineyard” alone could apply to anywhere — Napa Valley, Bordeaux, or Burgundy, to recite a few examples. The word “Martha’s Vineyard” is a specific place. In fact, it is a famous place known by people broadly in America and abroad. The word “trust” standing alone means nothing specific, as it could have many meanings: It could refer to a place offering safe deposit boxes, savings accounts, or banking services. Equally it could refer to some form of monopoly acting in restraint of trade, such as the oil trust or the copper trust — a negative connotation. The word “preservation” describes the very purpose and essential reason for the organization’s existence. Its omission will make dark the public’s understanding of what the organization does.
The Martha’s Vineyard Preservation Trust has also changed its logo to something resembling the Nike swoosh. This is also a serious mistake. The MVPT’s old familiar logo featured a key trust property, the bell tower of the historic 1843 Old Whaling Church, something that rings out historic, historic, historic! It may be more old-fashioned than the Nike swoosh, but preserving the old is the MVPT’s primary purpose in life, and its logo should reflect that.
I respectfully urge the trustees to abandon the meaningless name and logo unfortunately given to this worthy guardian of our historic buildings and heritage. Please reinstate the original name, which fully describes the organization’s location and purpose.
Andrew P. Houlahan