The Bay Street Armoury may soon carry a new name (File photo)

The Bay Street Armoury may soon carry a new name (File photo)

Bay Street Armoury could carry new name

Local military representatives advocate for a historical namesake

Victoria’s Bay Street Armoury may soon carry a new name.

Members of the 5th British Columbia Field Regiment Royal Canadian Artillery (RCA) Foundation and the Canadian Scottish Board of Regimental Trustees are writing to the Canadian Government to rename the 104-year old site at 715 Bay St. to the “General Sir Arthur Currie Armoury,” in honor of a decorated General who commanded the battlefield during the First World War.

In a letter requesting support from the Township of Esquimalt, Brig.-Gen. (retired) Michael Happell outlined the historical significance of Currie, who moved to Victoria from Ontario when he was 18.

ALSO READ: Bay Street Armoury celebrates 100th anniversary

“Soon after his arrival in Victoria he joined the 5th Brigade, Canadian Garrison Artillery, progressing in rank to become Lieutenant Colonel and Commanding Officer,” the letter reads. “Following his tenure of command… he was invited to command the newly established militia unit, the 50th Regiment (Gordon Highlanders) until the outbreak of World War 1 at which time he was promoted to command the 2nd Infantry Brigade with the Canadian Expeditionary Force.”

After the successful capture of Vimy Ridge, Currie was further promoted to Lieutenant General in command of the Canadian Corps.

“Throughout his service on active overseas duty with the CEF he was acclaimed as one of the most proficient battle commanders of the war,” the letter reads.

ALSO READ: City of Victoria opens bids for repair of Bay Steet Bridge

Currie served as Honorary Colonel of the 5th (BC) Artillery regiment, based out of the Bay Street Armoury, from 1919 until his death in 1933.

The letter further states that the current name of the armoury is based on its geographical description, not military history.

Armouries across Canada have had their names changed to reflect historical significance, including the Kenora Armour, renamed Private David Kejick DCM Armoury in Kenora, On. in 2018, and the McGregor Armoury in Winnipeg, renamed the Lieutenant Colonel Harcus Strachan VC, MC Armoury in 2018.

While the Township of Esquimalt has no jurisdiction over the armoury, since it’s federal property situated in the City of Victoria, council still voted to write a letter of endorsement to the Government of Canada.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com


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