News that Weaver Park will be rejuvenated as a community gathering place came as good news to Helen Weaver this week. It is her late father-in-law, Frederick George Weaver, for whom the park is named.
Helen Weaver was on hand Friday when the Rebuild Weaver Park committee members announced their successful funding campaign with Let Them Be Kids.
“My family and I, my niece in Nanaimo, we’re very interested in everything,” Helen Weaver said.
“Mr. Weaver was an alderman and he was very interested in the green spaces of the town. It used to be a wonderful park,” said Helen, who once lived on Morton Street near the park.
“My kids were down here all the time.”
Frederick Weaver, owner of Weaver’s Men’s Wear, was an alderman in Port Alberni and active in sports and recreation. He was known for his garden at his Sixth Avenue house (located between Angus and Mar), according to his granddaughter, Rossie Weaver of New Westminster.
“I remember the day the park was named (in the 1960s) very clearly,” Rossie said. “The city bused all of the kids from all of the parks [summer parks programs] to the new park for the dedication,” she wrote in an e-mail.
“After the park was dedicated we formed a line to shake my grandfather’s hand. The next day he asked me why I hadn’t been there, and I very cheerfully told him that he had shaken my hand.”
Members of the Weaver family have been in touch with Brenda Patterson, the driving force behind the playground project. But Helen and Patterson hadn’t met face to face until Friday.
“We’re all interested in contributing to the park,” Weaver said.
Patterson said part of the park’s rejuvenation will include a better sign—something Weaver said she has requested for many years. The wooden sign was removed a few years ago due to vandalism and has never been replaced, Rossie said.
The new play structure will also be dedicated in memory of an as-yet-to-be-named fallen hero from Port Alberni, Patterson added.