Commissioner for heritage advisory committee opposes renaming Hawthorne Square

Cloverdale’s Hawthorne Square is seen on Feb. 16, 2021. (Photo: Malin Jordan)Cloverdale’s Hawthorne Square is seen on Feb. 16, 2021. (Photo: Malin Jordan)
Map of Cloverdale showing proposed lighting system, circa 1920. Cloverdale’s original street names, including Hawthorne Avenue, can be seen in the image. (Surrey City Council Cloverdale Town Centre Heritage Study, 2015)Map of Cloverdale showing proposed lighting system, circa 1920. Cloverdale’s original street names, including Hawthorne Avenue, can be seen in the image. (Surrey City Council Cloverdale Town Centre Heritage Study, 2015)

Michael Gibbs doesn’t want Hawthorne Square’s name to be changed.

“I’m not in favour of renaming the square,” said Gibbs. “We’ll fight it. Every member of our group [the Surrey Historical Society] is opposed to changing the name.”

Gibbs, the commissioner for the Surrey Heritage Advisory Committee and past president of the Surrey Historical Society, said Hawthorne Square sits on the location of a road that used to be called Hawthorne Avenue, one that dates back to 1908.

“The name Hawthorne has historical significance and should be kept as a name.”

In December, a committee from the Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association attended the BIA’s monthly board meeting to float the idea of changing the name of Hawthorne Square to Will Senger Square. Senger, a longtime rodeo volunteer, passed away in 2017.

“When Will passed away, we felt strongly that there needed to be something appropriate and permanent to honour him in Cloverdale,” Claypool told the Cloverdale Reporter. “He was an integral part of the rodeo.”

Senger, who started volunteering at the Cloverdale Rodeo in the ’50s, became the rodeo chairman in the middle ’70s. After Senger’s death, Claypool, Rocky Rockwell, Penny Smythe, and Jamie Rogers formed a committee to advocate for a memorial of some kind.

Claypool said renaming the square is at the top of his list, but his committee would support any type of revitalization of Hawthorne Square that incorporates rodeo elements, including a memorial of some kind for Senger, and attracts more visitors to the square.

Gibbs said it’s going to be tough to change the name.

SEE ALSO: Group advocates changing name of Hawthorne Square to Will Senger Square

“There’s a [city] policy that a name is not given to a piece of property, a road, etc., for a minimum of 25 years after the death of a person.”

Gibbs said the rodeo is important to Cloverdale both culturally and economically and he noted it has an exciting, colourful, and unique history.

“I think it would be great to honour (Will Senger) somewhere on the Fairgrounds. That’s where it should be.”

Gibbs also supports the revitalization of Hawthorne Square, but he doesn’t support a rodeo-style redevelopment of the public space. He did say, however, that he would support a plan that incorporated a rodeo mural of some kind or a plaque.

“I want the square greened-up. They could put in a landscaped mound for people to sit on, like at the museum. They could add pioneer storyboards,” he said.

“But the Surrey Historical Society is opposed to Hawthorne becoming a rodeo square because there’s no historical relationship to that piece of property and the rodeo.”

Longtime Cloverdale resident Roger Bose is also against changing the name of the square.

“I’d like to maintain the name Hawthorne Square as it has a long history there,” Bose said. “The name Hawthorne was the original name of Hawthorne Avenue and the square took the name many years ago.”

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CloverdaleCloverdale RodeoHeritageSurrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP are looking for “an unknown man who wrapped his arms around” a female youth in Clayton Feb. 26. (Black Press file photo)
Youth assaulted by unknown man in Cloverdale

Mounties looking for ‘tall and thin’ Caucasian man in his 40’s with short dark brown hair

Framed photos of Travis Selje and other items fill the top of a dresser in his bedroom. (Photo: Tom Zillich)
Crown says defence case epilepsy caused fatal Surrey crash fails on balance of probabilities

‘She very clearly had some form of control over that vehicle,’ Crown argues

Alex Browne photo The felling of two mature Douglas Fir ‘eagle trees’ on Oxford Street, just south of Prospect Avenue, in June of 2019, prompted a review of tree management bylaws and policies now before White Rock council. The trees were felled on instructions from City of White Rock staff, who said the work was necessary because they had become hazardous. (File photo)
City of White Rock mulls ‘tree protection’ bylaw

More stringent measures needed to protect canopy – councillor

Surrey TEDx talks move online with ‘fast-paced’ event that’s free to watch March 27

Last year’s TEDxBearCreekPark attracted 900 spectators to Bell theatre

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

Passengers aboard Komagata Maru in Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet, 1914 - Library and Archives Canada image
Abbotsford council is asked to rename street in memory of Komagata Maru victims

Most of 376 the passengers aboard ship were denied entry into Canada in 1914

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

Most Read