Dr. Sun Yat-Sen memorial proposed for Burnaby

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen - Wikipedia Commons
Dr. Sun Yat-Sen
— image credit: Wikipedia Commons

Burnaby city hall is considering a proposal to erect a memorial to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen in a local park.

The Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Foundation for Peace and Education made the original proposal in 2012 to donate a bronze statue of the Chinese revolutionary which would be mounted on a granite base. The foundation is seeking a partnership with Burnaby to create the memorial.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen is considered the founding father of the Republic of China having been a leader in the overthrow of the Qing, or Manchu, dynasty of imperial rule. The statue was created by renowned Chinese sculptor Coa Chong Eng to commemorate the centennial of the 1911 Xinhai Revolution, said a city staff report.

The foundation plans to celebrate that anniversary by creating 100 bronze statue memorials in cities around the world that have both historic and symbolic connections to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen and his travels leading up to the revolution.

Burnaby has a sister city relationship with his birthplace of Zhongshan City, China. He also made three visits to B.C. in 1897, 1910 and 1911 seeking political and financial support for the revolution.

"On his visits, Dr. Sun Yat-Sen travelled through Burnaby to visit with the large Chinese-Canadian communities of both Vancouver and New Westminster," the report said.

City staff are proposing the 13-foot-tall memorial be installed in the centrally-located Civic Square, next to the Metrotown library branch and near Crystal Mall.

The other location they considered is at the main entrance for pedestrians and cyclists entering Central Park from Metrotown, on the west side of Patterson Avenue serving as the terminus to the planned Beresford Art Walk.

The foundation proposes covering all the costs of the construction through donations and its own funding. The city would pay for ongoing maintenance and operating costs.

Council will be asked to approve $40,000 in gaming funds to be used to complete detailed design and cost estimates with the expectation the money would be reimbursed by the foundation later.

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