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'Doctor Dirt' to be recognized by City of Powell River

City councillors want contribution toward commemorating Andy Davis
EXEMPLARY EFFORTS: Townsite Ratepayers Association president Will Van Delft appeared before the City of Powell River’s committee of the whole to request the donation of a bench to a commemoration in the Townsite triangle gardens for Dr. Andy Davis, who helped bring the feature back to life.

Tireless volunteer Dr. Andy Davis will be commemorated and recognized with an installation in Townsite.

Appearing before the City of Powell River committee of the whole on August 16, Townsite Ratepayers Association president Will Van Delft said he was presenting in collaboration with Townsite Heritage Society in memory of Davis.

Van Delft said in the past few months, the life and accomplishments of Davis, also known as Doctor Dirt, have been celebrated. Davis, a longtime physician in the community, died in April of this year.

Van Delft said Davis was part of the BOMB Squad (Bloody Old Mens Brigade), building many of the hiking trails and bridges in the region. As part of the Powell River Parks and Wilderness Society, he helped build cabins along the Sunshine Coast Trail.

Davis was also involved in the music scene, as a choir member and working with PRISMA (Pacific Region International Summer Music Association).

“He worked countless hours on his big love, which is the triangle gardens in Townsite,” said Van Delft. “He was also founder and first president of the Townsite Ratepayers Association.

“In recognition of the many hours of volunteer work that Andy has done in our community, we think it’s appropriate that to make a statement of gratitude for Andy Davis’s lifetime of volunteering, we are joining in collaboration with the Townsite Heritage Society to build a monument for Andy.”

Van Delft said the association was asking city council to support them by donating and installing a viewing bench in the triangle gardens.

“We, along with the Townsite Heritage Society, will be fundraising to plant an appropriate specimen tree, along with a large rock and commemorative plaque near the bench,” said Van Delft.

Committee chair councillor CaroleAnn Leishman said everything Davis has done is appreciated. She said Van Delft’s request is a good idea.

Mayor Dave Formosa said he had reached out to Davis’s wife and suggested the triangle gardens be named after him. Formosa said at the time, she thought he might not like that idea.

“Subsequently, his illness progressed and he passed,” said Formosa. “I was talking to [former mayor] Stewart Alsgard because he had brought up the idea of the city donating a bench, and I said it was a great idea. I support this idea 100 per cent so we’ll all remember the great job Andy did in bringing those triangle gardens back to life.”

Chief administrative officer Russell Brewer said staff could be directed to work to get a bench installed in the gardens.

Councillor Maggie Hathaway said she worked with Davis in a number of different capacities over the years.

“I’m certainly in favour of remembering him in this way,” added Hathaway.

The committee gave unanimous consent to work with the ratepayers association to install a commemorative bench in recognition of Davis.

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