A new interpretive sign recognizing the Duncan K. Kerr Memorial Park and a Second World War heritage site in Terrace was unveiled on June 5.
Through a $10,000 Canada 150 grant received by the City of Terrace, the park sign is one of three signs built to recognize how the Second World War had a significant impact on the community’s history.
This latest instalment at the Kerr Park, also known as the Rotary Park, marks the two large underground concrete fuel storage tanks kept by the Canadian Department of Defense in 1942 to use in case there was ever a shortage. A third tank existed at the site but was removed during the construction of the Walmart parking lot in 2003.
With little documentation available about the reserve tanks, the 100th Celebration Committee, a local citizens group, and city planner Ken Newman worked together to include the history of the Kerr family with the signage.
“I went back and forth trying to find information because information is not always easy to find,” Newman said. Then after talking with Duncan K. Kerr’s daughter Flora Kerr and her cousin Richard Kerr, he was able to piece together the story behind the park’s name.
At the time of Duncan’s death in 1959, he had been the chairman of the Terrace Commission, a position known today as Mayor, according to Newman. He also served as the president for the Board of Trade (Chamber of Commerce) and ran to represent the Skeena Riding as the Federal Member of Parliament.
The District of Terrace purchased the land from Duncan’s widow Gladys Fisher in 1963 for $4,000, and a bylaw was written to name the park after Duncan in his memory.
“It was special,” Flora said after helping to unveil the sign Tuesday. “He was a Rotarian, my Dad.”
The other two sites recognized with the grant include the ammunition bunkers between Highway 37 and Bristol Road, and the gunnery backstop near the Northwest Regional Airport.