Editorial: Who’s on first?

Story leads to questions about beach names in Powell River

Have you ever been called out or bullied for how you refer to a certain place? Were you told you have it all wrong, even though you were certain the correct name is what you have always known it to be?

This is exactly what has happened in reference to a “which beach is which?” scenario that arose after a recent Peak story about sea lions [‘Sea Lions captivate community,” January 14], in which a location in the article is referred to as Second Beach.

Follow the post on the Peak’s Facebook page and readers will either feel attacked, validated or completely confused by comments regarding the actual name of said beach. Over the years it has been called Hulks Beach, Second Beach, First Beach, the Sandy Beach, Mill Beach and Townsite Beach by various groups and individuals. With so many names to choose from, it is no wonder confusion arises, as well as defiant opinions.

Some Powell River residents proclaim that anyone born and raised here would know it is First Beach, but others who say they are descendants of families who have been here for many generations still insist the proper name is Second Beach. So who has the correct moniker?

When travelling from Townsite, as most residents would have in the early days of Powell River, First Beach makes sense. Then a second beach, somewhere in the middle of the Beach Trail follows suit, followed by Willingdon Beach, which would be the third.

Is this discussion going to continue for more generations or is it perhaps time for the city to recognize these beaches in print on a map, on location with signs, and/or on its website, where the beach in question is currently referred to as Second Beach.

Who ultimately gets to make this decision? Powell River Historical Museum and Archives, local residents, city council or staff, new people to Powell River who carry on with what they have been told upon arrival or learned from neighbours?

Based on the hateful trolling and name-calling taking place online, there are enough people who care about these names that it may be time to put up some signs for clarity.

To avoid what seems to some like an Abbott and Costello comedy routine (Who’s on first? What’s on second? I Don’t Know’s on third) from escalating further on down the road of online nastiness, someone has to step up and make a decision.

How would you map and name these Powell River beaches?

Copyright © Powell River Peak

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