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Hyack Square to be preserved
The city of New West will be adding Hyack Square to its Heritage Register.
Monday council directed city staff to add the public square at the foot of Eighth Street at Columbia, as well as the facade to the old Mc & Mc building which was incorporated into the new Plaza 88 development to the register. That allows the city to monitor any proposed changes to the properties when developers apply for building permits.
Julie Schueck, New Westminster's heritage and community planner, said Hyack Square is important as a gathering place for the community, especially during the two World Wars and the Boer War.
"It was where the military gathered to depart," said Schueck. "It was for the home spirit."
That significance will be bolstered when a statue commemorating a famous newspaper photo taken in 1940 is installed in the square next year. The photo, of a young boy breaking from his mother's hand to reach out to his father as he marched past with his regiment to board a train to begin their journey overseas became a symbol of the sacrifice made by soldiers and their families and was used to help sell Canadian war bonds.
"It was a very successful idea," said Schueck.
New West has 205 properties listed on its heritage register, of which 164 have so far been included in the Canadian Register of Historic Places.