Thursday, July 1, 2010

Post 1279 - The LOC

LOC stands for "letter of comment". 

The following is the letter I sent to Jenn Hoegg, an editor at the Kentville Advertiser, in which I complained about the Port Williams bridge being named after Gladys Porter. 
On June 29th, I drove over the Port Williams bridge and noticed for the first time that the bridge had been renamed to The Gladys Porter bridge. 

On my facebook and twitter accounts, I wondered who Gladys Porter was, and why she deserved such an honour. A friend reminded me that Gladys Porter was the first female mayor of Kentville (Kentville!) and then became the first female MLA, decades ago, during a time when it was unusual for women to engage in politics.

I have no problem with a bridge being named after Gladys Porter.  She obviously is and should be a role model for all women, particularly those who seek and attain public office.  We should laud this woman. 

But, I don't understand something.  Maybe you can help me understand.  Why is the Port Williams bridge named after Gladys Porter?  As far as I know, she only drove over that bridge 50 years ago to and from Halifax.  Did Ms. Porter live in Port Williams?  Did she ever do anything for Port Williams?  Did she instigate the construction of the bridge?  If the powers that be must name a bridge after Gladys Porter, though, name the Kentville bridge after her.   After all, she lived there.

There are several Port Williams residents who more readily deserve having a public structure named after them.   Gordon Gates was a long-time village commissioner and made many lasting contributions to the village.  Name the bridge after him.  Fenwick Williams is the guy after whom the village was named.  Name the bridge after him.  Or, to be self-serving, name the bridge after my father, Cecil Keddy.  He was the superintendent of public works for many years, and the harbour master for Port Williams to boot. 

Let's rename the Gladys Porter bridge after someone who actually in and contributed to Port Williams!

Bev Keddy

1 comment:

Glenda said...

Hey Bev,
I agree that a bridge naming should really reflect someone that actually lived/contributed to the lives of the community's residents. Here is the excerpt from 'The Port Remembers' pg 197: "In 1965, tenders were called for the construction of the present bridge. The late Mrs. Gladys M. Porter, MLA, announced government approval to build a two-lane bridge and the Department of Highways, with the Honorable Stephen Pyke as Minister, ordered engineers to proceed.....The present bridge, named after Gladys Porter opened to traffic in July 1968." I suspect this is how her name got attached to this bridge.
It's a little strange that it would take 42 years for the government to install the present signage on either side of the bridge which just got placed within the last few days. Maybe the sign $$ could have been better spent on fixing the bridge instead.