Happy Birthday Esquimalt

Esquimalt Centennial Statement - September 18th

Mr. Randall Garrison (Esquimalt—Juan de Fuca,

"Mr. Speaker, 2012 marks the 100th anniversary of the Township of
Esquimalt in my riding of Esquimalt--Juan de Fuca. From the initial European
and Chinese settlers in the 1850s to the arrival of the navy in 1865 and the
establishment of the naval dockyard in 1887, Esquimalt has continued to grow as a diverse and vibrant community. I am proud to be the MP representing Esquimalt and to have called Esquimalt home for 25 years.

 I want to congratulate the mayor, Barb Desjardins, her council and the work of the many committed community volunteers and especially Janet Jones as Chair of the Centennial Committee as they have organized a whole year of centennial events in our community.

 At the celebrations held at Esquimalt Gorge Park last weekend, there were two symbols of the small steps we have taken as a community toward meeting the critical challenges for the next 100 years. One was the presence on the stage of Chief Andy Thomas and Elder Mary Ann Thomas of the Esquimalt Nation. This is an important first step in rebuilding the reconciliation between the broader
community and the Esquimalt and Songhees First Nations.

The other was the recent swim in the gorge which marked the successful cleanup making it swimmable again as it was 100 years ago. These celebrations are a clear reminder of the challenges to restore and protect our local environment for generations to come.

Happy Birthday, Esquimalt."