Letter: Reinstate Ben Buss as town crier

If we want to be inclusive we need to include a blend of all our customs and traditions

Reinstate Ben Buss as town crier

It should be clear to pretty much everyone now that the termination of Ben Buss as our town crier by city council was a big mistake. Well written letters by Sharon Jackson, Stephen Norbury and Peter Rusland, have pointed out that Ben is an ambassador for our city, a man who has represented us with pride and distinction, and that his termination was both hasty and unjust.

Buss should be reinstated to his former position as soon as possible. No one wanted his termination except those on city council intent on erasing an important part of our heritage in the service of their own political ideology and agenda. The claim of erasing “colonialism” as Peter Rusland pointed out, is a specious one that has been used by special interest groups to further their own interests and not to represent the concerns of the people, nor to represent our history accurately.

How did we get here? It seems that cancel culture has now come to the Cowichan Valley with a vengeance. Both the history of Canada, and that of the Cowichan Valley, are made up of many influential strains. One of those are customs like town criers. Criers have been part of the history of North America for centuries, a tradition that came from Europe but became our own. If we start eliminating any and all influences once European in origin, we will have not only a bland world as Stephen Norbury suggests, but a historically inaccurate one.

It’s hard not to see this as tyranny, the tyranny of extreme reaction. We are living in a world of politically charged “buzz words.” Mention one and entire traditions fall. This isn’t the way we should be proceeding. If we want to be inclusive we need to include a blend of all our customs and traditions, not spitefully eliminate those we don’t like because that happens to be the current socio political trend. Bring back Ben Buss. He is a valuable and important part of our community.

Perry Foster