National pride swiped from Oak Bay lawns

Resident subscribers to Rotary program ‘discouraged’ by Canada Day thefts

Rotary Club of Oak Bay members Joan Peggs

Each Canada Day the Rotary Club of Oak Bay launches a full-out attack on front lawns. In the second of a series of three weekends throughout the summer season, they unfurl Canada flags across the community as part of the Flag Program.

Each July 1 holiday, flags go missing.

“We had six taken last year and four taken this year from different houses,” said Jim Force, past of the club and a resident of Burdick Avenue, where most of the flags were swiped. There are seven or eight subscribers on the block who are discouraged when one goes missing, he said.

“They just rip the flag off the pole. We assume it’s for young people who like to go down and watch the fireworks and wear a flag draped over them. But all the flags have Oak Bay Rotary written on them, on the band,” he added.

The tagging was done in recent years at the suggestion of Oak Bay Police, said Joan Peggs, chair of the Rotary Club of Oak Bay’s Canada Flag Program.

“It creates a wonderful ambience in a neighbourhood when you have all of these flags flying in the streets,” Peggs said.

“It must be disheartening to the subscriber to find they’ve been targeted by some individual who walks away with their flag. It’s discouraging … it certainly won’t stop us from carrying on with the program.”

The flag program costs a subscriber $50 a year to have a flag erected on their lawn on three holidays in May, July and September.

The full cost of a flag, pole and spike is roughly $45.

Last year they replaced a number of flags, and ordered with another club to get a bulk price of $10 apiece.

The spike that holds the pole, is specially made and costs $14. One spike and five flags were discovered stolen this Canada Day. They had 261 subscribers.

“It’s discouraging and it takes money away from our projects that we do, but also it’s discouraging to the people who make a donation,” Force said.

“The neighbourhood is disheartened … [the program] is about building community and people love it. I’m not letting a few bad apples spoil the bunch,”

Rotary funds community projects such as the recent $13,000-contribution toward the pool climbing wall at Oak Bay Recreation Centre.

“It’s money that we can’t put into our projects,” Peggs said.

In addition to marking the flags and poles, Peggs took one extra safety measure this year in anticipation of thefts.

“This year, I did send an email out to all our subscribers who live in open public areas,” thanking them and letting them know this is the time we lose most of our flags and would they be a little more vigilant and if it’s not too inconvenient, bring it in at night,” she said.

“Quite a few people did that. I was certainly monitoring my neighbourhood and other Rotarians were monitoring theirs,”

Volunteers also posted the flags closer to the homes as a deterrent.

“People are having to actually walk on your lawn and go up to your house to take it,” Peggs said.

Residents interest in flying a flag can still subscribe for the Labour Day weekend with a $20 pro-rated subscription.

Call Peggs at 250-598-1716 or email flags@oakbayrotary.ca

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria council chambers packed for ongoing environmental cruise ship discussions

Union workers, neighbourhood associations and more gathered for environmental conversations

Canada names 24 athletes to compete for 2020 Pan Am Cross Country Cup

The event takes place at Langford’s Bear Mountain Golf Resort and Spa on Feb. 29

VIDEO: Boys help rescue Cariboo bear cub

The cub, weighing just 24lbs, has been taken to wildlife sanctuary in Northwest B.C. for the winter

Greater Victoria 2019 holiday craft fair roundup

Get a jump on your holiday shopping

‘Things haven’t changed enough:’ Ecole Polytechnique anniversary prompts reflection

Fourteen women were fatally shot by a gunman at the Montreal school on Dec. 6, 1989

Bear raids freezer, gorges on Island family’s Christmas baking

Hungry bruin virtually ignored meat and fish, focused, instead, on the sweets

Second warning on romaine lettuce from California region as another E. coli case reported

Two cases of E. coli have been reported in relation to the illness in the U.S.

Residents in B.C. city could face 133% tax hike in ‘worst case’ lawsuit outcome: report

An average home could see a tax increase of $2,164 in one year

POLL: Will you be donating to charities over the holiday season?

Many here in Victoria joined others around the world to take part… Continue reading

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Dec. 3

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Most Read