The Sooke Program of the Arts Committee brought forward this photo to council of a memorial stone in Halifax as an idea for a memorial stone in Sooke. Following Monday’s meeting, the memorial dedication policy in Sooke is getting a well-anticipated update. (Photo from District of Sooke website)

Controversial Sooke memorial bench program getting an update

The memorial dedication policy in Sooke is getting a much-anticipated update.

Council directed staff at Monday’s regular council meeting to draw up a new policy, that would include some type of memorial for people to put plaques on commemorating loved ones.

The current program came under fire late last year when 25 people were told they were going to have to pay more for public memorials honouring their loved ones.

In January, council rescinded the policy and decided to send the issue to its new Sooke Program for the Arts committee and conduct a public survey.

The committee brought forward an idea at Monday’s meeting, which included using a large memorial stone instead of a wall, in keeping with the community’s wild by nature theme.

The group showed some designs of memorial stones in other communities, including one in Halifax with a design cut out of the middle, which stood out the most to councillors. The committee and staff will work together to choose a design specific for Sooke.

Once they decide, staff will develop some sort of a system in the updated policy where people can either choose to put their plaque on the stone initially, or else put a plaque on a bench or picnic table for a certain amount of time, and once that time is up, the plaques will be moved to the stone.

“Our current policy already includes a memorial wall, and we don’t have one,” said Tait. “I think this is a good start. I like the idea of having a big stone with the centre cut out, to look out at the water. The SPA has narrowed it down to a couple of locations that would work well for it to go.”

The commitee suggested the stone be placed at the entrance to Whiffin Spit, so people visiting don’t have to travel far to see it.

Tait says she believes staff will have something to present within the next three council meetings, but due to the short timeline and how busy things are, the new policy may not be put into place until after the elections.

“This is an issue that spans through the community, but we are running out of time. Hopefully we will move forward with it soon, but it’s not something we want to rush, we want to do things properly,” said Tait.“We realize family members are waiting, but we want to ensure consultation with them and the community, to hopefully come up with a plan that suits everyone.”

Just Posted

UPDATED: Man dies from injuries at Custom House construction site in Victoria

Government Street remains closed as investigation continues

Oak Bay sailor stranded in U.S. hospital after suffering massive stroke at sea

Glenn Wakefield’s rescue involved five airplanes and took more than 48 hours

Nanaimo RCMP shut down illegal racing and stunt driving site at Duke Point

Police “swoop in” to seize vehicles and issue violation tickets

First storm of the season expected to hit Vancouver Island tonight

Environment Canada has issued a storm warning with wind, and rain that could last into the weekend

RCMP: Trio arrested, firearms seized after report of shots fired in rural Qualicum Beach

Police say search also found evidence of large-scale drug operation

B.C. reports 96 new COVID-19 cases, one hospital outbreak

61 people in hospital as summer ends with election

VIJHL season could start Oct. 1, says league president

League awaiting final approval from local health authorities and viaSport

B.C.’s top doctor says she’s received abuse, death threats during COVID-19 response

Henry has become a national figure during her time leading B.C.’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Nanaimo-North Cowichan MLA Doug Routley seeks reelection

Routley has served as MLA for the area since 2005.

BC Liberals must change gears from election cynicism, focus on the issues: UBC professors

COVID-19 response and recovery is likely to dominate platforms

B.C. could be without a new leader for multiple weeks after Election Day: officials

More than 20K mail-in voting packages were requested within a day of B.C. election being called

B.C. ELECTION: Island MLA Adam Olsen says NDP is sacrificing health for politics

Olsen acknowledges situation of a snap election is not ideal for BC Greens,

Babchuk nominated as NDP candidate

Seeks to replace outgoing MLA Claire Trevena

VicPD seeking help in recovering stolen scooter of B.C. Special Olympics athlete

The scooter was stolen from outside Hillside Mall on Sept.21

Most Read