An addition to the park overlooking Oak Bay Marina is a reminder of the leader who helped create the local sailing community as it exists today.
Anyone who sits at the newly installed memorial bench next to the marina will take in the same view of the sailboats that made late councillor Allan Cassidy proud. Cassidy, who passed away last July while serving on Oak Bay council, was instrumental in building the 12th Garry oak sailing program, a joint project between Oak Bay Sea Scouts and Recreation Oak Bay. The park offers what was a favoured vantage point for Cassidy.
“When you sit there you can see right onto all those boats that he helped acquire for the community,” said Mayor Nils Jensen, citing his colleague’s scout leader moniker: “Scouter Al.”
Cassidy joined council alongside Jensen under former mayor Christopher Causton’s leadership in 1996, at a time when the municipality was tasked with revising the official community plan. Jensen recalls how vital Cassidy’s experience as an architect was from that point forward.
“Council relied constantly on Allan to provide insights into drawings and plans which often were like a foreign language to many of us,” he said. “He was quickly able to spot the strengths and weaknesses of building plans big and small.”
In honour of Cassidy’s contributions to council and the renovation and building recognition program, the initiative has been renamed the Allan Cassidy Recognition of Renovation and Building Achievement Awards.
“It’s really nice to know his name will still be out in the community,” Cassidy’s widow, Penny, told the News at the announcement of the memorial and award dedication last fall. “He loved his community and he put a lot of time into it.”