White Rock’s Centre for Active Living will be renamed in recognition of two longtime supporters of Peace Arch Hospital and local community health.
Following a Nov. 18 report by leisure services director Eric Stepura, White Rock council voted unanimously (Coun. Bill Lawrence was not present for the vote) to authorize renaming of the facility to The Horst & Emmy Werner Centre for Active Living.
Stepura told council the request came from Peace Arch Hospital and Community Health Foundation officials, as part of an effort to recognize a “generous donation” from the couple’s estate.
According to a foundation ‘Fall Reflections’ newsletter, news that Emmy Werner had gifted $1.75 million to the foundation in her will arrived in the summer of 2012.
In detailing the “story of quiet generosity” the newsletter explains that the Werners were married in 1953, and, after settling in White Rock, made donations to the foundation “on a regular basis.”
“They were a very private, humble couple who had no children or family and just a small circle of friends,” the newsletter states.
Horst Werner passed away in 2009; Emmy died three years later.
“The entirety of her and Horst’s substantial estate was left to the foundation.”
One million dollars of the gift went to the CAL expansion; the balance went to the hospital’s ER expansion and renovation project.
The newsletter further notes that as the Werners’ gift came without warning, foundation officials never had an opportunity to say thank you.
The foundation was granted exclusive naming rights to the centre for 25 years as a condition of being a partner and primary funder in its creation in 2010.
The new name will appear on signage at the front of the centre – located in Centennial Park – and on North Bluff Road signage; there is to also be a plaque inside the lobby. Costs associated with those changes are to be borne by the foundation.
Existing City of White Rock signage will not be affected, Stepura said.