John Grace, Mayor of Goderich. (Image submitted by the Grace family.John Grace, Mayor of Goderich. (Image submitted by the Grace family.

Goderich council approves plan to honour former mayor

Goderich council is set to rename the boardwalk after Mayor John Grace, accepting a task force recommendation on how to honour the deceased community leader.

Council established the John Grace Recognition Task Force earlier this year, to solicit ideas for how to honour the former mayor, who passed away in August 2022.

The committee received around 40 suggestions from the public and decided that renaming the waterfront boardwalk and installing three brass plaques was the right way forward.

Councillor Liz Petrie says it's what the family wanted.

"The one important thing that I want to share is that, all along Wendy Grace had said that she wished that John would be remembered as a person who had extreme commitments to this town and had a love and passion for this town," said Petrie, who sat on the committee. "He had been involved in multiple things but he certainly had pride in the waterfront. And it became very clear that this was to be John C. Grace the person, not John C. Grace the mayor."

The wording for the plaques will be determined by town staff and the Grace family. Once complete, they'll be located at the north, south and centre of the boardwalk, costing just over $2,700.

During discussion, members of council noted it would be helpful to have a policy in place to guide the process of honouring prominent community members

Mayor Trevor Bazinet agreed a policy would be beneficial.

"I agree with Councillor (John) Thompson in regards to, this is an emotional discussion and hopefully we don't have to go down this road again," said Bazinet. "You know, we do have Mayor Myles Murdock as well that we would want to show some recognition to. That's why I think a policy is a good idea, to protect us moving down the road."

Clerk Andrea Fisher said the CAO recently asked for a policy to be drafted and that it will be brought to council in the future.

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