Publication:

The Prince George Citizen - 2021-11-25

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CENTENNIAL PARK MURAL SHOULDN’T BE DEMOLISHED

OPINION

I was born in Prince George. My grandchildren are the fifth generation to live here so I am very interested in preserving local history. I would like to address the demolition of our mural from Centennial Park which was developed in 1967. It is the oldest piece of public art in Prince George. The mosaics were done by Naomi Patterson. Her husband operated one of our early men’s wear storesPatterson’s Men’s Wear on Third Avenue and his father was one of our early mayors – A.M.Patterson. The mosaics illustrate our local history - Simon Fraser arriving in the early 1800s, the gold miners of 1860, the BX sternwheeler in 1913, the Grand trunk railway in 1914 and the Catholic missions in 1840. The Catholic mission mural has attracted much controversy. Some have wanted the mural destroyed because of this. Kudos to Lheidi T’enneh First Nations Chief Dolleen Logan for her wisdom in wanting the city to preserve it. She has stated that the mural depicts an accurate reflection of what the colonel attitude towards her people was and it should be preserved for its historic value and as a learning tool. History should not be taken away but we should learn from it. I understand the mural is much too heavy to move but when the old pool is demolished why can’t the corner where the mural stands be left as a park? There is around 45 feet between the mural and the old swimming pool. What area is required for demolition? The old Vienna Schnitzel building on Sixth Avenue will have to be demolished in a very tight space. Would not our tax dollars be better spent in refurbishing the mural rather than using our taxes for demolition of our oldest piece of public art ? Betty Belado Prince George

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