Sackville Town Council has approved a major change to the Sports of Wall of Fame (SWOF) housed in the foyer of the Tantramar Veterans Memorial Civic Centre.
At their meeting on Tuesday, a majority of councillors voted to approve revising the SWOF board of governors’ guidelines to permit the replacement of the 13 x 18 inch framed charcoal drawings that appear on the wall now with plaques that will measure approximately 8 x 10 inches.
The change would reverse the present system under which SWOF inductees receive a plaque in recognition of their achievements and contributions to sports while the town displays a charcoal drawing at the Civic Centre.
Matt Pryde, Sackville’s director of recreation programs and events, told council at an earlier meeting on October 7th that the SWOF board was recommending the change because space is running out on the wall at the Civic Centre.
“The last three inductees from last year are kind of around a corner and hidden a little bit,” Pryde said, adding that the SWOF board was recommending replacing the charcoal drawings with smaller plaques.
“We’ll have to discuss exactly how we want to display those, if it would all be on one wall or spread out over a similar display as what we currently have,” Pryde said.
“But it would take up a lot less space and give us several years’ worth of room to be able to continue to add to the Sports Wall.”
Pryde, who acts as a staff advisor to the SWOF board, said the existing drawings would be given to inductees, their families or other appropriate people and that it would cost about $6,000 to replace the present drawings with plaques.
“We did talk about a few different things, but something like that would be a $30,000 project,” Pryde added.
“We feel that with a small [$6,000] operational increase for the year that we could actually make a pretty nice looking display with a title naming what it is people are looking at — the Sackville Sports Wall of Fame — and make it look pretty good without breaking the bank.”
Some opponents speak out
At town council’s meeting on Tuesday, Councillor Shawn Mesheau noted he had heard from people who wanted to keep the charcoal drawings.
“There’s been comments about what about saving space with a digital presentation,” he said.
Senior town manager Jamie Burke said he had also noticed comments on Facebook and had received several e-mails about the change, but he added that the new plaques haven’t been designed yet, and they could include an image of SWOF inductees.
Burke agreed with Mesheau that there is still enough wall space for another year or two, but, he said, the SWOF board recognized that a change had to be made for the wall to continue.
When Mesheau suggested he was reluctant to vote for a change without seeing it first, Councillor Bill Evans said council was simply being asked to authorize doing things differently by saving wall space with smaller plaques.
“The nature of those plaques has yet to be determined,” Evans added. “We will have to think it’s better or we won’t vote to do it.”
Councillors Allison Butcher and Michael Tower agreed.
However, Councillor Andrew Black noted that the SWOF board’s recommendation for a 8 x 10 inch plaque was very specific.
In the end, only Black and Mesheau voted against Councillor Joyce O’Neil’s motion which read: “I move that council approve the changes to the Sackville Sports Wall of Fame governance guidelines as presented at the Special Meeting of Council on October the 7th, 2019.”
To read the revised governance guideline that council approved, click here.