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The following is a letter written to the city, filed for publication in the Mirror.
I am very concerned after reading the article in the local newspaper about the city considering taking the memorial benches back from the people who purchased them...for the purpose of leasing them to new people. The bench our family purchased in Jerry Mergaert’s name has very special meaning to us.
This is where we go on any given day to feel close to him...whether we are happy or sad or just miss him.
My grandchildren have played there and my daughter and son have shared many memories sitting on the bench. We never miss visiting him on the anniversary of his death and such occasions as birthdays, Father’s Day, Christmas, Easter, etc.
Everyday that one of us drives by and sees an elderly person resting or a child playing or a parent, runner, etc sitting on the bench, we know that Jerry would be so happy to have them stop and enjoy the beauty and serenity.
So now you have run out of room for more benches...I see many places left in Campbell River. Could there be too many benches? If so, move on to new ideas. If the cost has gone up, lease the new ones or charge more! Taking the benches back could be very devastating to loved ones...and is no different than taking the Tidemark memorial chairs back or removing any memorial for that matter.
To us, this is Jerry’s tombstone and at the time we purchased it we were led to believe that it would always be there. Please think long and hard before you make such a insensitive decision. I can assure you our family is not alone in our feelings concerning this matter.
Corinne Mergaert and Mergaert, Davies Families