Is a name a name or an identity?

It is important for the community to remember the roots of long-standing street names in the Alberni Valley.

City council has decided to rename the main road that connects the north and south sides of Port Alberni, to avoid confusion for visitors—the road presently changes name three times within a couple of kilometres—and to celebrate a milestone in 2017.

The public will have a chance to name the road, as the city will soon start a public consultation phase on the project.

It is important for a community to remember its roots. Gertrude Street was named for someone with the Anderson Company, which established the first sawmill at the head of the Alberni Canal in 1860.

Stamp Avenue was named for Captain Edward Stamp, an official with the Anderson Company and the man responsible for starting the Hastings mill in Vancouver’s Burrard Inlet.

Third Avenue was one of several north-south running avenues named at the creation of New Alberni, according to the book ‘Alberni Valley Place Names’, prior to 1912.

Renaming streets in Port Alberni is not without precedent: Burke Street between Margaret and Helen used to be Nanaimo Road; Seventh and Ninth Avenues were Bothwell Grove and Kelvin Grove, respectively. Stamp Avenue was moved completely in 1960, replacing the original road connecting Port Alberni and Alberni.

This community will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the amalgamation of Port Alberni and Alberni in 2017, and the present council wants to have a new name in place by then.

The timing is right for this renaming project.

editor@albernivalleynews.com