What’s in a name?
Mission Heritage Association/ Fraser River Heritage Park? It seems to me that these names are synonymous and should remain as they are, symbiotically viable.
People must surely realize that there would not be such a park if it had not been for Norma Kenney and others of the Mission Heritage Association who shared her vision and strong commitment.
After a long struggle, the former St. Mary’s lands were saved from development and the park came to be, growing over the years to what it is today, a unique example of what ordinary citizens can accomplish by working cooperatively with city council, with service clubs, church groups, with the Royal Canadian Legion and with the many volunteers who contribute over 10,000 hours of labour each year.
Think Rose Garden, Rhododendron Garden, orchard rejuvenation, parking attendants, Twilight Concerts, workers from the prison system, etc. How much does that add up to in union wages? Don’t forget the overtime/holiday pay for after hours activities.
Here we are, more than 30 years later, and Mayor Randy Hawes and his like-minded council wish to develop a plan for all of Mission’s parks.
As for the many parks that need upgrading, the District of Mission should put its efforts into these projects and leave the responsibility of Fraser River Heritage Park with the association that created it and the people who love it dearly.
It appears, that under the current council’s leadership most of these dedicated souls will be gone. I feel that this is a sad, thankless, cruel and unnecessary way to end their days at the park.
Please, let’s carry on Kenney’s legacy. And here’s to hoping that the Observatory project becomes a fait accompli.
Morning Rotary, with its $20,000 donation, has committed to continue fundraising for this exciting project. To borrow a phrase from Virgil, ‘sic atur ad astra’ or ‘thus you shall go to the stars’.