David Heard was one of the speakers that participated in open forum during the October 23rd, 2012 Council Meeting. We thought it was worth noting his passionate speech and his clear message how community involvement is a critical element in building healthy communities with a sense of belonging. The Town of Aurora has a rich history which needs to be continuously preserved, nourished and rehabilitated to retain integrity, but it cannot be done without community involvement.
David Heard has been deeply rooted in the Town of Aurora and is always actively involved in local history and its preservation. His booth at the seasonal Aurora Farmer’s Market is a familiar sight and hot-spot for many stories. In his open forum speech David Heard proposes a Heritage Square encompassing the historic downtown of Aurora and he also expresses his struggle to be heard and involved. His speech concludes with the announcement of his resignation from the Aurora Heritage Advisory Committee.
David Heard [Aurora Council Meeting, October 23rd, 2012]
“Thank you Mr. Dawe and Members of Council.
I’d just like to read a short little quote from the book ‘Words and Occasions’, by Lester B. Pearson. The book happens to be from the library of a former Mayor Dick Illingworth.
“My conclusion will be simple. It will consist of saying in the very midst of sound and fury of our history: ‘Let us rejoice.’ Let us rejoice @ being faced with cruel truths. Let us seek the respite where it is – in the very thick of the battle.” So, don’t be downhearted in the thick of the battle. It is the place where all good men would wish to be.
In that quote there is one of two conflicts, either one, I am downhearted or number two I am not a good man. I must say I am highly disappointed constantly reading and hearing about meetings with regards to the Cultural Centre and the proposed heritage park. I feel that transparency has been unequivocally in question in both of these issues.
I guess to go on, on a positive before I make a short statement at the end, I would like to propose an option to the community that will be inclusive and that would be an Aurora Heritage Square in the community development centers. Around the library square area we have the Quaker meeting house, the United Church, the Mechanic’s Institute, our first Town Hall on Mosley Street, the Joseph Fluery home nearby, the Poplar Villa, the Cambell-Fluery house, Lundy’s home, Baldwin’s residence, the new Connections church, by the way the building that Sally Anne purchased, how ironic that they are struggling to come to Aurora. The Anglican Church and Pioneer cemetery remains. Sounds like a great Heritage Square to me.
I think it would be a great place for it, because we have the Lundy home on Mosley to recreate a wonderful print shop somewhere, may be in a building nearby or in the Cultural slash what should be the Museum Centre. Also the Fluery-Cambell house being on Mosley Street, a wonderful recreation of maybe of one of the old sheds that I am sure we can put one together from reclaimed materials to create a blacksmith shop.
“INCLUSIVITY IS WHAT BUILDS A COMMUNITY, NOT EXCLUSION.”
I was at the first meeting at the Cultural Centre in regards to the proposed Heritage Park in the North end and somebody mentioned parking. I think a great thing for parking might be to utilize that horrible eye sore that used to be the old arena that is nearby within walking distance from the said Cultural Centre, Library etc. It also has had access historically between Gurnett Street and Yonge.
I also envision across the road, maybe seeking to put some kind of beautiful landscaped small grandstand in front of the Poplar Villa where people could view the July 1st parade, the Christmas parade and also the Aurora Street Festival. Have it beautifully landscaped; people could walk across the road from the parking, access all the beautiful heritage square and community development buildings. Park Place Manor could utilize that somewhere for people with developmental disabilities to go and park and have a nice place to sit.
After touring places like Goderich and other communities, I saw how much effort was put in to beautify wonderful boardwalks and everything without more than just reaching in to the community and asking for help. Those communities were involved in putting together and beautifying and preserving the history with community involvement.
I sadly will say, I notice I have 40 seconds left. I am gravely disappointed in what has transpired in the lack of transparency and I would like to notify the Council to say thank you for appointing me. I would hereby like to officially resign from the Heritage Advisory Committee forthwith.
Inclusivity is what builds a community, not exclusion. When we start to exclude and not include the community that almost touches on bullying. I don’t feel very included, I know other citizens don’t also. Thank you for your time.”
Anna Lozyk Romeo
REFERENCES & CREDITS
 Open Forum Speech, October 23rd, 2012, David Heard, Town Hall, Ontario.