About 10 years ago, my husband had a bench installed on the seawall in Qualicum Beach as a birthday surprise for me in memory of my parents.
On the original deed it states that he purchased it for $350 and that the town would maintain it.
A short while ago, we received a letter from the town stating that we owed them $1,800 and if this was not paid in the timeframe allotted, our plaque would be removed and sent back to us and the bench would be freed for someone else’s dedication.
We were also informed that every eight years we would be billed again to renew our dedication.
My husband paid them their $1,800 out of respect to me and to my parents and because we sit there every morning and we don’t want someone else’s name on the bench.
We have talked to other people who have made dedications of different sorts and have paid a one-time fee for a lasting memorial.
We were fortunate that we could pay this amount but we are concerned that there will be seniors on fixed incomes who have dedicated a bench to a beloved spouse or family member they have lost, who would find it a problem to come up with this amount.
Who knows what it will be in another eight years?
These dedications are a highly personal and sentimental undertaking and we feel the town is playing with people’s emotions and taking advantage of them simply to make money.
It is exorbitant and unfair. Most of us here are seniors and that is no way to treat your senior citizens!