Oak Bay creates new policy for memorial benches. (Christine van Reeuwyk/Oak Bay News)

Oak Bay implements new memorial bench policy

District brings in terms, while honouring open-ended commitment to past donors

Memorial benches have been in the spotlight recently after the District of Sooke implemented a new policy, asking donors who already have benches to pay an additional $2,000 to keep it dedicated to their loved one. Sooke cites maintenance costs as the reason behind the change; however, bench owners have complained that they received no notice of the policy change and are upset that their original commitments aren’t being honoured.

Many municipalities are currently facing the issue of how to cover maintenance costs for memorial benches and other memorial park furniture.

Up until recently, Oak Bay didn’t have a memorial bench policy, but after spending three months annually maintaining the park furniture, it became evident that a change was necessary. They are currently implementing a policy that will see terms attached to new memorial furniture going forward, while honouring their open-ended commitment to past donors.

“The new policy will only affect donations going forward. The money for past benches was given in good faith and we will respect and honour our commitment to the families who have given these donations to the municipality,” says Oak Bay Mayor Nils Jensen. “We realize how important it is to families who have had a loved one die, to be able to go to the special memorialized spot that is meaningful to the family.”

Getting a memorial bench requires a $3,000 donation. The new terms for memorial furniture will be 15 years, or 10 years for furniture that is located in an exposed location – while the wood has excellent longevity, the sea salt corrodes the rebar that is used in the cement for support.

Chris Hyde-Lay, Manager of Parks Services, says that Oak Bay is approaching the 300 mark for benches and notes that most of the decent locations are taken. He recommends going with one of the other available options for memorializing a loved one within the municipality: a tree (approx. $500), a picnic table ($3,200), an ornamental flower planter with seasonal rotation of flowers ($3,800), or a water fountain ($7,000). With the new policy, the memorial furniture will be assessed after the 10- or 15-year term is up and a renewal cost will be set based on the condition. There will be no renewal charge for those that already have benches, just those moving forward from today.


 

keri.coles@oakbaynews.com

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

28 years later: Dunahee disappearance remains largest investigation in Victoria police history

The four-year old Victoria boy went missing without a trace on March 24, 1991

Victoria Fire Department advises cigarette safety after two fires started in one week

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

Saanich could become the new home of the world’s largest gnome

Galey Farms could find out Tuesday whether it will host the eight-metre-tall structure

Update: BC Transit driver taken to hospital with serious injuries after assault

Driver attempted to stop an altercation between two people on the bus

Protective human chain forms around Victoria mosque for Friday prayer

Islanders stand arm-in-arm to show support in aftermath of New Zealand shootings

‘Families torn apart:’ Truck driver in fatal Broncos crash gets 8-year sentence

Judge Inez Cardinal told court in Melfort, Sask., that Sidhu’s remorse and guilty plea were mitigating factors

Vancouver Island motorists attempted CPR on victim in fatal Highway 4 crash

Collision took place west of Whiskey Creek; man in his 70s died

POLL: When do you think the next major earthquake will hit Vancouver Island?

According to seismologists, Vancouver Island is overdue for a magnitude 7 earthquake.… Continue reading

WestJet sticking with Boeing 737 Max once planes certified to fly

WestJet had expected to add two more of the planes this year to increase its fleet to 13

B.C. driver caught going 207 km/h on motorcycle along Okanagan Highway

A motorcyclist was caught by Kelowna RCMP going 207 km/h on Highway 97C

Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre in Nanaimo

B.C. fire department offers tips to keep your home safe during wildfire season

With wildfire season getting closer, the Penticton Fire Dept. offer tips to keep your home safe

Fierce house cat spotted as ‘aggressor’ in face off with coyote in B.C. backyard

North Vancouver resident Norm Lee captures orange cat versus coyote in backyard showdown

Most Read