People walk through Hawthorne Square Feb. 3. A group from the Cloverdale Rodeo, including president Shannon Claypool, would like to see the square renamed Will Senger Square. (Photo: Malin Jordan)

People walk through Hawthorne Square Feb. 3. A group from the Cloverdale Rodeo, including president Shannon Claypool, would like to see the square renamed Will Senger Square. (Photo: Malin Jordan)

UPDATE: Group advocates changing name of Hawthorne Square to Will Senger Square

Cloverdale BIA wants Hawthorne Square revitalized

This story has been updated.

A plan is afoot to rename Cloverdale’s Hawthorne Square.

A committee from the Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association attended the BIA’s monthly board meeting this past December to discuss the idea.

“(They) want to honour a gentleman who passed away named Will Senger,” said Paul Orazietti, executive director of the BIA. “They did some preliminary research and didn’t find there was any historical significance with the name Hawthorne. Hawthorne was the original name of the road.”

Senger, a longtime rodeo volunteer, passed away in 2017. He was a familiar face at the Stetson Bowl.

“Will has been a part of the Cloverdale Rodeo family since the very beginning,” rodeo president Shannon Claypool told the Cloverdale Reporter shortly after Senger’s death in 2017. “He was a legendary cowboy, a pioneer of this event, and an incredible champion of Cloverdale and Surrey.”

SEE ALSO: Cloverdale Rodeo legend Will Senger, 85, passes away

After Senger’s death, Claypool, Rocky Rockwell, Penny Smythe, and Jamie Rogers formed a committee to advocate for a memorial of some kind.

“When Will passed away, we felt strongly that there needed to be something appropriate and permanent to honour him in Cloverdale,” Claypool said. “He was an an integral part of the rodeo.”

Senger, who started volunteering at the Cloverdale Rodeo in the ’50s, became the rodeo chairman in the middle ’70s.

“We originally wanted a statue of Will, like the other statues in Cloverdale, but the city wasn’t interested. They will allow a statue of a horse, but not a [real] person.”

After the idea for a statue was kiboshed, they turned their focus to Hawthorne Square.

Claypool said the idea to rename the square was the brainchild of Rogers, an administrator with the Cloverdale Rodeo.

And while renaming the square is now at the top of their list, Claypool said the committee supports any type of revitalization of Hawthorne Square that incorporates rodeo elements, including a memorial of some kind for Senger, and attracts more visitors to the square.

“We’d like to have something permanent to honour Will, but it’s in the city’s hands now.”

The committee’s proposal, a rodeo-style redevelopment of the square, includes “a new design that would capture a range of Cloverdale Rodeo winners,” noted the December meeting minutes. “The BIA did express a desire to have the square updated with public art, new landscaping, signage and other place making elements like heritage storyboards capturing the town centre’s significant historic moments.”

SEE ALSO: Road names to make historic return

Orazietti also said any name changes will have to be approved by the city.

“We haven’t taken a formal position on (changing the name), because it’s really a city responsibility. The city would have to go through a process to vet (the name change) to see if it’s appropriate.”

Orazietti added the BIA has been talking about revitalizing the square for a long time. And while he’s not opposed to renaming the square, he’s not advocating for it either. He just wants the square rejuvenated and reworked into something residents and visitors can get more use out of.

“I’m in favour of revitalizing the square, but I’m not in a position to dictate what it will be. That includes taking a position on renaming it Will Senger Square,” he said. “There’s been a lot of discussion about adding some heritage components. Does it really want to be a rodeo square, or does it want to be a pioneer square that includes rodeo history?”

He also said both the BIA and the Chamber would like to see a sign put up with the square’s name on it.

“We want to redevelop it in stages; it’s going to take a lot of money to do it properly,” he explained. “We met with councillor Annis. She’s part of the Surrey Heritage Advisory Commission. She’s going to be working with us on heritage storyboards. That square, along with the parking lot behind our building, the square by Rexall, where the Brick Yard Station is—there’s probably four or five locations where we’re going to put in heritage storyboards.

Orazietti said he’ll continue to work with the Cloverdale Chamber to try to get the city to kick in cash for the project.

He wants to lobby the city for the funds—about $500K—that were approved to help the Surrey Little Theatre find a new home. Those funds were freed up when the SLT decided to move to east and merge with the Langley Players.

SEE ALSO: Surrey Little Theatre, Langley Players look to merge as single company at 200th Street theatre

“(The BIA) and the Chamber are saying, ‘Hey! You know what? We’d really like to see those funds re-directed and that it could be potentially at Hawthorne Square.’ So the future of Hawthorne Square is really in the hands of the city and it’s going to depend on what department takes ownership of (the square).”

Orazietti added Hawthorne is not considered a park, only a greenspace. He said the BIA has been bouncing from department to department at City Hall in an effort to find out who will take responsibility for the square and what, if any, input and help the BIA can offer.

—with a file from Sam Anderson.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CloverdaleCloverdale Rodeo

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum speaks at a press conference in August about provincial government approval of the city’s change to a municipal force, joined by councillors (from left) Mandeep Nagra, Allison Patton and Doug Elford. Members of the National Police Federation claim there is still no transition plan in place although Surrey RCMP’s contract with the city is due to end March 31.(File photo)
National Police Federation members slam Surrey police transition to Surrey Board of Trade

During virtual meeting, bargaining unit representatives say municipal force ‘not a done deal’

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia’s (CFSEU-BC) Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) has arrested a man who was on the run for nearly a decade. (File photo)
9-year search for international drug trafficking suspect ends with arrest at YVR

Khamla Wong, charged in 2012, taken into custody Feb. 24 by BC-CFSEU

Pixabay image
Surrey council moves to update city’s telecommunication antennas policy

But councillor says health and safety protocols are nearly 40 years old

Eagle watchers are celebrating the first egg of the season, captured on video in South Surrey. (Hancock Wildlife Foundation photo)
LIVE VIDEO: South Surrey nesting eagles welcome first egg of the season

Parents ‘Sur’ and ‘Res’ to share incubating duties

Boosh Food founder Connie Marples (right) delivers some Boosh Food items to Christine Mohr, CEO of Options Community Services, in December, 2020. Boosh Food has just moved their operations to Cloverdale. (Photo: Moonraker PR)
Boosh Food moves to Cloverdale

‘Plant-based comfort food’ company moving to 65A Avenue

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Shaelene Keeler Bell. (Facebook)
Candlelight vigil planned for Chilliwack mother missing for four weeks

Virtual event to ‘spread some light’ for 23-year-old Shaelene Bell of Chilliwack

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

Most Read