He gave his time and talent, volunteering hundreds of hours for community projects, and now a street sign will ensure that Bob Shantz will not be forgotten for that contribution.
Shantz, a high-profile lawyer and community volunteer and leader, died last August after an operation for an aneurism. He was a founding member of the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation and organized the Rotary Duck Race for the last four years.
His friend, Kevin Nosworthy, led the effort to have a street named in Shantz’s honour.
He was backed up by unanimous support from the major community groups in Maple Ridge.
A letter from Mayor Nicole Read to the family during Christmas confirmed that a street in a new area off 206th Street and 123rd Avenue will be named Shantz Way.
The hospital foundation, along with the Ridge Meadows Hospice Society, the Maple Ridge Community Foundation and both the Haney and Meadowridge Rotary clubs all wrote letters to the city asking for a street sign to bear his name.
“Nobody can remember a time when these organizations have unanimously sent in this kind of endorsement for a citizen,” said Fred Armstrong, with the City of Maple Ridge.
“We’ve never seen this kind of broad support across community organizations. When you look at the dollar values and the work that was accomplished under his tenure, it represents millions of dollars raised for charity. It’s quite significant.”
Shantz was also the lawyer for serial child killer Clifford Olson in the 1980s, a duty which took a heavy personal toll.
Maple Ridge doesn’t make a habit of naming streets after people.
Armstrong explained that the city has an evolving list of names that staff use for parks and roads. People are encouraged to send in their suggestions for names to add to the list so they can be used as the city grows.
Shantz is the first resident to have a street named after him in decades.
One of the rinks at Planet Ice is named after Hall of Fame hockey player Cam Neely, Armstrong pointed out.
“There are individuals that made extraordinary contributions to the community and I think, by any measure, Bob Shantz fit that criteria,” Armstrong added.
Shantz was former president of the Ridge Meadows Hospice Society and a past director of the Maple Ridge Community Foundation, a position he held for nine years.
Most recently, he was chair of the security committee with the Downtown Maple Ridge Business Improvement Association and was also named Citizen of the Year by the Maple Ridge Community Foundation.
As a longtime Rotarian, he also received five awards from the Meadowridge Rotary Club, including “Rotarian of the Year.”