Maple Ridge councillors combined two unveiling ceremonies into one Tuesday as they unveiled the new Veteran’s Way signs for Memorial Peace Park and cut the yellow ribbon around the district’s new Christmas tree in the downtown square.
Named the Peace Tree, the 10-metre sequoia that the District of Maple Ridge had in its landscape inventory was planted as part of the rebuilt green space next to the Zellers’ parking lot on 224th Street, a location the district had once eyed for a hotel.
After public input earlier this year showed strong support for keeping the space green, the district re-landscaped the area, turning it into an extension of Memorial Peace Park, and planted the tree, which will be a permanent focus for the annual Christmas in the Park celebration.
Mayor Ernie Daykin cited the Christmas Truce in December 1914 during the First World War, when German and British troops took a break during the fighting, for inspiring the Peace Tree name.
The district also proclaimed the stretch of 224th Street that leads from Royal Canadian Legion Branch No. 88 on Brown Avenue to the park as Veteran’s Way.
Legion president Jim MacDonald pointed out it’s the first time local veterans will be able to march on a street with that name.
“Thank you, for working with us. Thank you, for sharing our vision,” he said.
Second World War RCAF veteran Andrew Salva liked the park improvements and the tree.
It will mean lot to march on Veteran’s Way during Remembrance Day, he said.