View Royal Fire Chief Paul Hurst sits on a bench in a green space at the corner of Helmcken Road and Island Highway

Dedicated View Royal parks man honoured

George Hurst was instrumental in securing land for the park that will bear his name

In the 20 or so years George Hurst worked for the Town of View Royal, he was responsible for the development of a number of parks within its bounds.

So it seems fitting that the very last piece of green space that Hurst helped create will soon be officially designated as a memorial in his honour. View Royal council has approved the naming of the park at the northwest corner of Island Highway and Helmcken Road as George’s Corner Park. It has been unofficially known as George’s Park for some time, but the move makes the name change official.

“It’s great recognition,” said View Royal Fire Chief Paul Hurst, George’s son. “As painful as it is to lose your father, it’s great to drive by that intersection every day and see the sign. It’s a pretty big honour for the family.”

George Hurst passed away in July 2015 and was celebrated afterward with what Coun. John Rogers recalled as a “significant memorial service” at the Four Mile Pub.

The man who, as parks foreman, took parks into the Town’s realm after its incorporation back in 1988 was also a volunteer firefighter and had many friends and acquaintances.

“He connected and interacted with so many people in the community,” Paul said. “I talk to people all the time who say they knew dad or worked with him. He was the kind of guy who would give you the shirt off his back – he was tough as nails, but he was also full of compassion for people.”

While serving as parks foreman for the Town was his last official job before he retired, George Hurst served 25 years in the military, including stints overseas and in Vietnam. He later was a B.C. sheriff and also looked after fire security at Victoria General Hospital.

Rogers said it made sense to declare this previously nameless park – it is roughly 10 years old – as a living memorial to the longtime dedicated staffer.

“The whole relevance is that he took the initiative and recommended that we acquire the lot, as it had fallen into significant disrepair,” Rogers said, noting the lot was formerly home to a group of businesses including a barber shop and the Betty Ann Bakery. “We wanted to do something to mark his contributions to the Town and the parks department.”

Paul Hurst, who wears his father’s dog tags around his neck as a reminder, said the intersection also has relevance in that George bought his first home in View Royal kitty corner from the existing park.

“I think he’d think it was pretty cool,” Paul said of the park naming. “He was the kind of guy who didn’t seek out recognition, he just quietly did his thing.”

As someone who knows the layout of the View Royal community like the back of his hand, the chief said he gets a kick out of passing by certain trees and plants that his father personally placed in ground. The care George took in beautifying the community will always be remembered this way, he added.

“This is a nice gesture by mayor and council,” Paul said. “People retire and they get their (going away) lunch, but to have your father’s name on a signpost, it’s locked in, there it is.”

editor@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Victoria cannabis dispensaries are busy in their first days of legal operation

The Cloud Nine Collective and The Original FARM opened their doors on April 15

VIDEO: ‘Stewie the Starfish’ mascot revealed at Premier League kickoff party

Pacific FC kickoff party scores in Victoria Inner Harbour

Mental health walk/run aims to outpace depression

Walk increased to 5k, run to 10k

Island cycling series boosts youth race schedule

New series creates opportunity for more youth competition

Bear sightings historically rare in Langford: City staff

51 bear complaints or sightings in last year

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

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

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Six months after legalization, high prices and supply issues boost illicit pot market

It has been six months since Canada became the first industrialized country to legalize recreational cannabis

Most Read