Mayor proposes changes to Esquimalt motto

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins has spent some time considering the township’s motto, thinking it may be a good time for a change.

As Canada prepares to celebrate its 150th year, Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins has spent some time considering the township’s motto, thinking it may be a good time for a change.

For Desjardins, the current motto, “A Place of Shoaling Waters” is confusing to many residents and visitors since many people don’t know what shoaling means.

In a report to council, Desjardins also said the geographic location of the historical shoaling water (meaning a place where a sea, river or other body of water is shallow) does not lie within the boundaries of the municipality, according to a local historian.

The phrase is a direct translation of Esquimalt’s First Nation Lekwungen-derived name, Es-whoy-malth. Desjardins, however, would like to see the township retain “Place of Shoaling Waters” as a historical reference, but the community also adopt “Always First” and return to the original corporate seal with “Quansum Elip” — which the municipality used until the coat of arms was presented to the community in 1957.

“It re-embraces our connection to our First Nations origins and our historical connections, adding another layer to our important tie with our First Nations communities,” said Desjardins in the report, noting “Quansum Elip” or “Always First” is an expression derived from the Chinook jargon or wawa — a traditional trading language that existed before European contact.

“In this way we can preserve our connection to Chinook wawa, a language that predates European contact, and represents a tangible bridge between all groups, indigenous and non-indigenous.”

The idea was brought forward to Esquimalt council Monday night, where it was met with mixed reviews and received as information.

Coun. Meagan Brame noted there are several other things staff could be doing with their time, while Coun. Olga Liberchuk liked the idea of revisiting the motto. Coun. Tim Morrison, however, didn’t see any point in going much further.

“I think we over think things far too much when we start over analyzing the fact that it’s somehow confusing to people to say that we’re the place of gently shoaling waters,” said Morrison. “That’s how our fathers and mothers described us, and that’s how we’ve always been described and that’s how we’re always going to be described.”

Township residents have also been discussing the idea on Facebook, where it was met with mixed reviews. One woman even created a poll, and as of Tuesday, more than 100 people had voted to keep “Place of Shoaling Waters” while only a handful of people were in favour of changing it to something else or “Always First” or simply leaving it alone.

 

 

Just Posted

Overworked and understaffed: More than 300 vacancies in Vancouver Island nursing

Tentative deal with province includes ‘working short premium’ to encourage hiring

Victoria city council seeks authority to tax empty homes

Council is asking the province for the authority to invoke a vacancy tax

Backyardigans, Max & Ruby stage shows add to Family Day in Sidney

Bodine Hall shows make room for kids to sing, dance, enjoy Family Day weekend

Saanich Mayor Fred Haynes says municipality will re-group after Rowing Canada decision

Haynes said he is “quite disappointed” but also respects choice of North Cowichan as national centre

CRD committee proposes ending livestock payouts to farmers

The bylaw has existed since the creation of the CRD’s animal control service in 1979

VIDEO: Excessive speed on the Malahat captured by dash cam footage

Poster calls driving ‘dangerous, obnoxious and disrespectful’

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 15

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

POLL: Should people have to license their cats?

The Victoria Natural History Society has sent letters to 13 municipalities in… Continue reading

Olympian snowboarder Max Parrot diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

Each year in Canada, approximately 900 people are diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma

‘Prince of Pot’ Marc Emery accused of sexual assault, harassment

Emery denied the allegations, but a Toronto woman says she is not the only one speaking out

Vancouver Island photographer makes National Geographic’s 2018 elite

Rare double honour for Marston from the 36 best Your Shots out of nearly 19,000 photos

Ex-Liberal candidate in Burnaby, B.C., says volunteer wrote controversial post

Karen Wang dropped out following online post singling out NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh’s ethnicity

Asteroids are smacking Earth twice as often as before

The team counted 29 craters that were no older than 290 million years

Most Read