A request that the name of Crofton Beach Park in honour of E.J. Hughes has been denied. (File photo)

North Cowichan denies request to change park name to honour E.J. Hughes

Municipality about to begin review of naming rights

A request to change the name of Crofton Beach Park to “E.J. Hughes Park at Crofton Beach” has been denied by the Municipality of North Cowichan, at least for now.

The Crofton Community Centre Society made the recommendation to North Cowichan last year after its board of directors voted unanimously for it.

In a letter to the municipality in June, society president Tracey Donnelly said E.J. Hughes, an internationally renowned artist, is well known and highly respected in the Cowichan Valley, and many Crofton residents have fond memories of watching him paint local scenes on the beach in Crofton.

RELATED STORY: VOLUNTEERS AT THE READY FOR CROFTON CLEAN UP

“There are no permanent public sites that are dedicated to him at this time,” Donnelly’s letter states. “As his work was and is still so important and recognizable for its style and West Coast flair, we hope you will agree it would honour his memory, his family, and our regard for him to give us the privilege to rename the park in his name.”

But at North Cowichan’s council meeting on Jan. 29, council decided to reject the request pending a broader discussion on the municipality’s parks-naming policy, with the inclusion of consultations with local First Nation communities.

A letter sent to Donnelly in September from North Cowichan’s former corporate officer Karen Robertson stated that council had decided at a closed meeting that month that the municipality will be embarking on an overall review of naming rights so council didn’t want to consider the request in isolation of the process at the time.

The artistic talents of E.J. Hughes, a citizen of Duncan who died in 2007, are recognized throughout the world.

As well as his extensive collection of West Coast art, Hughes served in the Second World War, starting out as a gunner and progressing to the position of Official War Artist.

Hughes, who is a recipient of both the Order of Canada and the Order of B.C., was awarded with honorary doctorates from the University of Victoria and the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design.

The Cowichan Foundation has also been spearheading a campaign to install a bronze statue of Hughes in a prominent place on municipal land, like Charles Hoey Park in Duncan.

RELATED STORY: COWICHAN FOUNDATION FUNDING FUTURES

The foundation is proposing that the statue be a commissioned artwork of Vancouver Island bronze sculptor Nathan Scott, capturing a moment in the life of Hughes at work on his stool.

The statue project was first proposed almost a decade ago, and the Cowichan Foundation has managed to raise approximately $63,500 towards the $103,500 project through fundraisers, grants and an initial $10,000 that the City of Duncan had committed to the project.

But a request for an additional $40,000 for the statue from the City of Duncan was turned down in December after council said it didn’t have the additional funds for the project.

RELATED STORY: CITY OF DUNCAN WON’T GRANT ADDITIONAL MONEY FOR STATUE OF E.J HUGHES

Fundraising efforts for the statue are continuing.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

municipal politics

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

LAKE FLASHBACK: Death, destruction and a big donation

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter Sarah Simpson has been combing through old… Continue reading

Brentwood hosting 2A boys Island tourney

Mill Bay school aims for fourth straight provincials berth

Paper Excellence, owner of Crofton mill, hit by malware

Paper production in Crofton, and other mills, impacted by incident

UPDATE – Chemainus Secondary School fire Thursday morning being investigated as suspicious

Classes cancelled Friday due to ongoing investigation and damage

Chris Wilkinson column: Private seniors care homes must be more accountable

The lack of transparency of where the public funds are allocated is alarming

Blair says RCMP have met Wet’suwet’en conditions, calls for end to blockades

The Wet’suwet’en’s hereditary chiefs oppose the Coastal GasLink project

Petition seeks to remove local police department from Lindsay Buziak murder case

American woman starts online petition in hopes of helping Buziak family

Health officials confirm sixth COVID-19 case in B.C.

Woman remains in isolation as Fraser Health officials investigate

Study says flu vaccine protected most people during unusual influenza season

Test-negative method was pioneered by the BC Centre for Disease Control in 2004

Saskatchewan and B.C. reach championship round at Scotties

British Columbia’s Corryn Brown locked up the last berth in Pool B

Resident discovers five discarded hog heads in Vancouver Island ditch

WARNING: Graphic image may be upsetting to some readers

B.C. lawyer, professor look to piloting a mental-health court

In November, Nova Scotia’s mental-health court program marked 10 years of existence

COLUMN: Not an expert on First Nations government structures? Then maybe you should calm down

Consider your knowledge about First Nations governance structures before getting really, really mad

Meet the Wet’suwet’en who want the Coastal GasLink pipeline

Supporters of the pipeline are upset only one side is being heard nationwide

Most Read