“I am both saddened and angered…” Andrew Foulds

Thunder Bay
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City Hall in Thunder Bay

THUNDER BAY – I am both saddened and angered by the events of last weekend where a magnificent healthy 120- year-old white pine was senselessly cut down on Lyon Boulevard on the west side of Boulevard Lake. This isn’t simply another act of minor vandalism. You can paint over graffiti or replace a broken window. You cannot replace a 120-year-old tree.

Somebody committed a premeditated act of destruction at night. Somebody decided that they would take it upon themselves to destroy this significant piece of history. This tree had seen three different centuries, the growth of Prince Arthur’s Landing into the city of Port Arthur, the creation of Boulevard Lake, the construction of the Current River Dam, the creation of Thunder Bay and the development of the vibrant Current River community.

This tree was a significant landmark not merely of Current River but of our whole city. All Thunder Bay people who enjoyed Boulevard Lake took pleasure in seeing this towering white pine. This was a tree with character, with many stories to tell.

After I heard the news I went to see it. During the ten minutes I was there a dozen vehicles stopped. Every single person expressed their dismay. While taking my sons to soccer a night later at the Rec. Centre a number of parents approached me to voice their shock that someone would do this. All asked the same question : why? Since the event, dozens of people have recounted their stories to me – stories of how many lives it has saved by preventing cars from falling down the steep gully into the lake. One woman in particular was passionate and unequivocal in saying that the tree saved her life when she was thirteen years old . She was in a car that hit this tree.

The destruction of this unique tree has hit the community hard. This was clearly demonstrated when earlier this week someone laid a rose to commemorate it. Walking or driving around Boulevard won’t be the same. As you swerve around that looping corner – instead of seeing that battle-scared white pine – you will now see nothing but an empty space.

I will be working hard towards doing something to remember this symbol of Current River – perhaps using the wood to construct memorial benches, perhaps a sculpture, perhaps something else. I would be interested in your ideas.

I am also calling on the public for help. Somebody committed this crime. Somebody saw this happen. Somebody, somewhere knows who did this senseless act. If you know something about what happened please report it to the police. As a community we cannot, and must not, accept this assault on an important and valuable part of our history.

Andrew Foulds

Councillor, Current River Ward

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