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Letter: Rehire the town crier

Buss also served well as Duncan’s de facto ambassador

Rehire the town crier

Dear Duncan mayor and council:

I heartily agree with pointed comments made in The Citizen by residents Stephen Norbury and Sharon Jackson concerning the recent ignominious termination of our world-renowned town crier Ben Buss.

I echo their quote: “Shame on Duncan council.”

I now strongly urge councillors to reverse their decision and hire Buss back.

Council’s assertion Buss’s role and authentic 1700s uniform harkened back to the tyranny of Canada’a colonial past is specious at best.

And if council’s belief is a veiled attempt to distance Duncan from our country’s tragic residential school system, started in 1867, councillors are sadly out of date by 100 years.

As Norbury notes, red is also the colour of our RCMP’s past uniform, and its present red-serge formal dress. That uniform bespeaks Canada’s proud RCMP heritage.

Sadly, council chose what Norbury suggests is a dull, bland path.

Councillors curtly sacked Buss — without consulting him nor the public — after years of our energetic, frugal crier globally heralding, to tourists and locals alike, the joys of Duncan and our whole Cowichan Valley.

All that will be lost in favour of hiring a formal Duncan ambassador at some future date. In fact, Buss also served well as Duncan’s de facto ambassador.

Indeed, why not have both positions touting our fair city and valley far and wide?

Given local reaction to council’s unwise decision, I urge rehiring Buss now before this embarrassing gaffe grows.

Peter W. Rusland

North Cowichan

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