Pioneer Park chosen as site of Central Saanich’s new cenotaph

After some back and forth over the years, Central Saanich councillors chose Pioneer Park as the preferred location for a new veterans memorial cenotaph.

Between Dec. 5 2016 and May 1, 2017, a variety of options had been presented to council. First, Pioneer Park was recommended by staff, but council chose Centennial Park. This was Mayor Ryan Windsor’s preferred option when he introduced the idea four years ago to get a cenotaph built in the District. However, a later staff report indicated just one positive attribute to the Centennial Park location: ample parking for a Remembrance Day ceremony. There were several negatives included poor drainage, small size to accommodate people for the ceremony (many would have to watch from Wallace Drive), high levels of traffic noise and stray balls that would inhibit “quiet contemplation.” Staff estimated the Centennial Park location would cost twice as much compared to the Pioneer Park site ($300,000 vs. $150,000).

In light of these negatives, staff asked council to reconsider, and they did. According to the staff report, Pioneer Park is far from Central Saanich Municipal Hall, but the site is level and accessible, with good drainage and nearby washroom and parking facilities (among other positives).

“Council was faced with [cost and engineering challenges], and we said, ‘We’d love to build a project there, but a significant increase in cost to address subsoil drainage issues are probably more than we can bear when there are other sites in the district that could properly accomodate and give respect to the memorial and the monument.’”

The council table then considered Saanichton Green or Pioneer Park, and the mayor said council did not strongly prefer one over the other (the price would have been about the same), but in the end, Pioneer Park was chosen.

The proposed design is described as a “simple trapezoid cenotaph,” (imagine a short Washington Monument that reaches the shoulder of the average adult), made from polished granite or concrete. Each of the cenotaph’s four faces will display a different message. A Coast Salish motif “acknowledges the pre-contact history of the First Nations and their struggles for survival.” A Canadian maple leaf “embraces all Canadians who have served their country and communities.” The Dove of Peace “offers hope that, in the future, peace will prevail.” Finally, the epitaph “Be at Peace” “can be read as a message to the fallen and a message to offer solace to their families.”

During a council meeting on Feb. 19, Coun. Bob Thompson was concerned about interrupting existing events like Music in the Park. A stage is being built by the Brentwood Bay Community Association at Pioneer Park, and he wondered if musical events in the summer would be interrupted by construction of the cenotaph. Staff replied that the precise location within Pioneer Park had not been chosen yet and the District would ask user groups for their opinions before selecting a precise site.

The motion passed with Coun. Niall Paltiel in opposition.

During the meeting, Paltiel said regardless of location, “it’s going to be a great addition to the community and a great place to build community, gather and remember.”

A public consultation on the final location and design of the monument will take place in March.



reporter@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Province delivers notice of unauthorized occupation to Saanich tent city Camp Namegans

A Ministry of Transportation liaison to Camp Namegans delivered a “notice of… Continue reading

UPDATE: Woman hit by car in parking lot 93 years old

Driver of sedan backs into older adult walking through lot

Residents of tent cities unfairly labeled as criminals, says report

Some neighbours supportive of Regina Park camp

Delayed grant decisions could send new Crystal Pool costs soaring

Delays could cost the City of Victoria up to $500,000/month more in construction costs

Delivery truck downs power lines in Sidney

A tractor trailer delivering eggs clipped a low-hanging wire on Second St.… Continue reading

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Special forces unit to monitor Hells Angels ride on Vancouver Island

Enforcement unit says motorcycle club to hold 35th anniversary ride in Nanaimo

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Saanich Police investigate store robbery

Store video captures image of suspect

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of July 17

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Most Read