Sooke council mulls design concept for memorial area in park

Design concept expected to include bench and look-through portal

A design concept for the serpentine bench eyed for Quimper Park. (Contributed - District of Sooke)

A design concept for the serpentine bench eyed for Quimper Park. (Contributed - District of Sooke)

The plan dates back more than seven years, with three committees, contractors and three councils involved in the decision-making process so far.

But it appears Sooke council is now prepared to move ahead with a memorial area at Quimper Park.

Council has instructed municipal staff to complete a design concept next year that will incorporate a bench, look-through design and other amenities.

In an Oct. 12 staff report, council’s Sooke Program of the Arts (SPA) committee recommended a 15-foot serpentine bench with floating wood seats be built. The top of the bench backrest will be a cement barn roof profile, which will provide about 90 linear feet of plaque space – about 125 plaques.

The new structure will overlook Whiffin Spit at the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

It’s clear the decision didn’t come easy for those around the council table, as the original plan was for a simple wall at Whiffin Spit.

”I would like to see something that is thought-provoking,” Coun. Al Beddows said of the design offered by SPA, adding the memorial idea and design was to honour the late Brenda Parkinson, a former councillor and artist.

“(This design) does solve the problem of putting memorial plaques on it, but it’s a bench,” Beddows said.

Coun. Dana Lajeunesse, council’s representative on SPA, said the design recommendation from the committee was not intended as a final concept.

“It’s just a concept. It’s going to be left open to the artist,” he said, adding the final design will come back to council for approval.

In the end, council drew from an earlier design that incorporated a look-through portal you could gaze into looking toward the oceanfront and asked that the concept be included in the new design.

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