letters

Letter: Name new high school for E.J. Hughes

Naming our new high school after Mr. Hughes would complement a city street honouring him

Name new high school for E.J. Hughes

Dear Cowichan mayors, councillors, CVRD directors and trustees:

I am humbly suggesting we name our planned new Cowichan high school ‘E.J. Hughes Secondary School.’

This esteemed moniker would be highly appropriate since Mr. Hughes was a noted master painter who lived in Duncan during the final decades of his life.

He moved to Duncan from Shawnigan Lake. Both of his former homes thankfully still stand.

The quiet, private painter — who earned the City of Duncan Perpetual Arts Trophy, among other accolades — is known to many arts patrons and historians far and wide.

Naming our new high school after Mr. Hughes would complement a city street honouring him beside Duncan’s courthouse.

It would also salute Duncan and Cowichan as a national artistic mecca — and further arts and cultural education that includes Native art, which he admired and loved.

Mr. Hughes’ detailed, happy works, including depictions of Cowichan, are nationally celebrated, auctioned and collected.

There’s a gallery displaying his colourfully detailed paintings in the Audain family’s gallery near Whistler.

Along with Emily Carr, Mr. Hughes — awarded the orders of B.C. and Canada, plus honorary degrees — is among this province’s most distinguished painters.

The former war artist created some 600 vibrant works. They chronicle our seascapes and landscapes, and human activity on them.

Mr. Hughes is the subject of various books.

E.J. Hughes Secondary School would be a most befitting honour.

Peter W. Rusland

North Cowichan

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