Aaron Hinks photo Peace Arch Hospital Foundation executive director Stephanie Beck stands beside a concrete structure that once displayed commemorative bricks.

Peace Arch Hospital commemorative display to be replaced

Bricks removed last month during renovations

Hundreds of commemorative bricks near the entrance of the Peace Arch Hospital have been destroyed during renovations, but they will be replaced after the meeting area receives a “facelift.”

Approximately 1,200 bricks have lined McCracken Courtyard at the front entrance of the hospital for 20 years.

“The bricks have started to deteriorate and are at the end of their lifespan,” Peace Arch Hospital Foundation executive director Stephanie Beck said in a news release last Wednesday announcing the renovation.

“We have asked current brick owners to let us know if they would like their name to be carried over into the new program… If anyone has not received a letter from us, please contact the foundation. As most of the records were 20 years old, it’s likely that some addresses have changed or we didn’t have all of the contact information to begin with.”

The names on the bricks – purchased by residents, businesses and families for $1,000 each to remember a loved one – will be grandfathered into a new design.

PAHF officials have yet to decide the appearance of the new memorial but said it will be located near the park fountain.

Beck said foundation staff tried to send a letter last month to everyone who had purchased a brick, but unfortunately some have since moved or passed away.

Surrey resident Carolyn Swayze contacted Peace Arch News last Wednesday, saying she did not receive notification and only found out when visiting a relative in hospital that day.

She moved into a new home five years ago.

“I was a bit dismayed to find the memorial in a state of deconstruction, with many of the plaques, including ours, gone,” she said, noting Dr. Pam Lockhart had purchased a memorial brick for her mother Norma Swayze after she died in 1994.

Swayze told PAN she was “dumbfounded” to receive an emailed response from the foundation saying: “We were unable to return the brick to you as they completely crumbled upon removal. I know you mentioned that even if it was broken, that you would still like it to be returned, but all of the removed bricks were in small chunks and names were not legible.”

Swayze said she had gone to the construction site to look for her mother’s plaque, and examined a “few dozen” intact and legible bricks. She contacted the foundation office and asked if staff could look for her mother’s brick. The following day, her son visited a relative in the hospital and spoke to the foreman about their request.

“When he returned from his visit, the foreman gave him the plaque,” she said. “It is a bit damaged on the corners, but it reads ‘Norma Swayze Remembered.’”

The original brick read: “Norma Swayze Remembered With Love.”

Beck told PAN she called Swayze and that PAHF had a “happy conclusion to her concern.”

“Most of them were damaged. Most of them were crushed and in pieces. It was just fortunate that hers wasn’t. Well, hers was damaged, there was a chunk missing. We got what we could for her, but the other bricks, as you can see, have all been removed. We weren’t able to save them.”

Beck said that purchasers who did not receive a letter from the foundation should call 604-535-4520 this month.

“We will make sure that they get grandfathered in.”

The renovations and installation of the new donor-recognition panels is expected to be complete by the end of August, with the redesigned courtyard to include public art and new benches.

“We’re really excited with the look of the donor-recognition program,” Beck said in the release. “It’s fresh, colourful and modern and will look beautiful in the updated courtyard.”

Just Posted

Surrey school district surpasses projected enrolment

Lastest student numbers as of Sept. 30

Surrey Christmas Bureau ready to roll in well-known Whalley building

Organization’s Toy Depot to open at former Stardust rink Nov. 6

Former Surrey cop Dario Devic gets four-month ‘jail sentence to be served in the community’

Former RCMP officer will be under house arrest for two months after Creep Catchers bust in Surrey

Surrey Eagles add former NHLer Teubert to staff

White Rock native will join BC Hockey League team in player-development role

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

B.C. jury finds man guilty of Japanese exchange student’s murder

Natsumi Kogawa was found at empty heritage mansion shortly after she was reported missing in 2016

B.C. man accused of killing Belgian tourist along Highway 1 appears in court

Sean McKenzie, 27, made second court appearance since his arrest in connection with the murder of Amelie Sakkalis

Colourfully named cannabis products appeal to youth, Tory health critic says

Conservative health critic Marilyn Gladu says the Liberal government needs to do more to ensure cannabis products available online are not enticing to young people

Trial set for man charged with decades-old murder of B.C. girl

Garry Handlen accused of killing Merritt girl; also charged with Abbotsford murder

Bernardo-like sexual deviancy poorly understood, expert says

What exactly causes such deviance is not known but some evidence exists of physical brain damage to the front part of the brain

Disney on Ice returns to Vancouver with Moana in starring role

Eight shows at Pacific Coliseum in late November

B.C. high school teacher faces sexual assault charges

A Mt. Boucherie teacher has been charged with child luring, sexual exploitation and sexual assault.

Fashion Fridays: You can never have enough shoes

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Most Read