LETTER: Mission tartan has meaning

It was created to reflect the diversity of the natural and industrial history of the Mission area

I am compelled to respond to the questions posed by citizens Jerry Fairbanks and Jeanette Smith (The Record, March 22, 2019).

Firstly, Fairbanks asks, “How does a tartan represent Mission?”

The answer is found on the Mission website along with information on other representations and descriptions of the municipality, including our official flower (the Caitlin rhododendron), which resides in Fraser River Heritage Park; our coat of arms and crest; our motto and logo; and our official tartan.

This tartan was presented to the District of Mission by the Mission Weavers and Spinners Guild on Oct. 18, 1999. The tartan was created to reflect the diversity of the natural and industrial history of the Mission area.

The tartan is registered in Scotland, and the District of Mission has accepted it as the official tartan.

Each colour is representative of one or more of Mission’s unique characteristics:

– black to represent coal and railway lines;

– brown to represent cedar shakes;

– blue to represent the Fraser River;

– dark green to represent forests;

– pale green to represent farming; and

– salmon pink to represent salmon and berries.

This representation of our municipality is ubiquitous in the community and seen at community gatherings of all kinds on kilts, skirts, scarves, neckties, etc.

As to the second question posed by Fairbanks, “Are you serious?” regarding council’s approval of the proposed tartan art piece as an addition to public art in our community, the answer is yes – of course.

Simply put, it is we, the electors, who have given our municipal council the right to make decisions on our behalf. And we can all “keep an eye on city hall” by visiting the municipality website, attending council meetings, reading the city page in the local newspaper, and engaging in community activities.

As to the question posed by Jeannette Smith, “…Do we have diverse opinion on our council or seven bobbleheads?” In this writer’s opinion, we have the most diverse and open-minded council seen in recent times in the District of Mission.

Certainly, public art is art in the eye of the beholder, and it is impossible to satisfy everyone. But without it, what a drab and dreary place our cities and towns would be.

I’m happy to embrace it in all its forms – including those made from plastic, which is embedded in all aspects of our daily lives.

Look around you. We simply cannot get rid of it from our society, but we certainly need to be more diligent in our use and disposal of single-use plastics and items which may have a more sustainable alternative.

Loving Mission and our exciting future.

Gary Westhora


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