In response to the call to rename the West Headland from its official name of Langevin pier to something else, Wally Keeler has written to Council suggesting that the area be known as Susanna Moodie Pier. The idea has been received favourably by many residents and acknowledged by Deputy Mayor John Henderson. Wally notes that “Susanna Moodie stepped off the boat onto Cobourg pier in 1832” and that she wrote about life in the Canadian Bush. He suggests that “The foliage of the pier should replicate as best possible the foliage that flourished at the time of her arrival.”
Judging from comments made during the current Waterfront study, a big majority of residents would agree to keeping the West Headland in its natural state and making it a nature preserve honouring Susanna Moodie would seem to be in keeping with that. Wally quotes the National Library & Archives Canada which says that “Moodie’s portrayal of the Native people she knows is sympathetic” (and provides some examples from her writing) so it would appear that Alderville Elders and Chief Marsden may well be receptive to this suggestion.
Wally makes the case that renaming the pier in her honour would be for artistic reasons and would not be tainted with politics.
Not only is Susanna Moodie well-known as an author and arguably an activist, she is also not likely to have any negative background like Langevin so renaming the headland “Susanna Moodie Pier” should not be subject to any future objections.
- Should Langevin Pier be renamed? – Post about proposal by Meghan Sheffield and Nicole Beatty.
- Wally Keeler letter to Council
Addendum – Council Meeting – 2 October 2017
The presentation by Meghan Sheffield, Nicole Beatty and Chief James Marsden was made as planned with no real surprises. All admitted they had not known about the official name of the West Headland so it’s hard to believe that the Chief was offended – at least up to that point. He did not say he was, even now.
Nicole confirmed that if the area was renamed, that a commemorative plaque would be a good idea.
The delegation information was referred to staff for a report. Debra McCarthy mentioned Wally’s letter and asked that it be considered as part of the review by staff.
Addendum – Council C.O.W. Meeting – 23 October 2017
Wally Keeler made a presentation to Council but instead of suggesting that Langevin Pier be renamed, he said that piers should be named and that since the East Pier had no name, then it was a good candidate to be named. He wanted individuals to get involved with naming but his personal suggestion for naming the East pier was the Susanna Moodie pier. Deputy Mayor John Henderson said that his suggestion would be considered.