The Municipality of North Cowichan is considering renaming Herd Road Park for longtime community volunteer Andy Hutchins. (Photo submitted by Hutchins family)

The Municipality of North Cowichan is considering renaming Herd Road Park for longtime community volunteer Andy Hutchins. (Photo submitted by Hutchins family)

Maple Bay’s Herd Road Park could soon be called Andy Hutchins Park

Andy Hutchins was a prominent person in the community

North Cowichan is considering renaming Maple Bay’s Herd Road Park Andy Hutchins Park in honour of the renowned community member who died last year.

The municipality has received an application to rename the park and is seeking public input on the request.

A titan in the Cowichan Valley sports community and well beyond, Hutchins was respected for his reliability and dedication to any number of causes and was active in many ways right up to his final years.

He was born in England and came to Canada as a kid.

Hutchins graduated from Cowichan Secondary School, where he played rugby for the school team.

Beyond school, his involvement in rugby took him to the Cowichan Rugby Football Club, where he rose through the ranks from the juniors to the seniors, then served as a supporter and advisor after his playing days.

He was a player on and one of the leaders of the club’s lone overseas trip, a tour of the U.K. by the Third Division Piggies in 1985.

RELATED STORY: COWICHAN’S ANDY HUTCHINS MOURNED BY SPORTS COMMUNITY AND BEYOND

It wasn’t just rugby.

Hutchins played juvenile football with the Cowichan Timbermen, was a founding member and past-president of the Maple Bay Rowing Club, and supported his wife, Kathleen, in organizing the annual regatta on Quamichan Lake for 35 years.

Hutchins was also instrumental in the creation and expansion of the Cowichan Sportsplex and a board member for many years, a board member for KidSport and the North Cowichan/Duncan Sports Wall of Fame, and was involved with the BC Seniors Games when they were held in the Cowichan Valley in 2005.

When the proposed facility that became the Cowichan Aquatic Centre was put to a referendum, Hutchins worked behind the scenes to rally the votes to make it happen.

Hutchins’s involvement in the community went beyond sports.

RELATED STORY: PUSH ON FOR NEW PARK IN MAPLE BAY

He was a member of the Maple Bay Volunteer Fire Department for nearly 50 years, including a lengthy stint as chief, as well as an advisor to the Fire Commissioner of B.C. and an instructor at the Justice Institute.

So why rename Herd Road Park after Hutchins?

A release from North Cowichan said not only was he one of Maple Bay’s most recognizable figures and a giant in that community, he also looked after Herd Road Park and actually organized a softball team that played their home games there.

“The park has and continues to transform with a dog park, pickle ball and a children’s playground,” the release said.

“The existing name comes from being located on Herd Road. The name ‘Herd’ will continue to be prominent on one of the longest and busiest used roads in North Cowichan.”

The deadline to submit comments on the proposed name change to the municipality is April 8 at 4 p.m.

Send comments to Keona Wiley, North Cowichan’s parks manager, at keona.wiley@northcowichan.ca.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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