An aerial shot of the clearing at Barrett Fort, on southern Kaien Island, in early April 2018. (Submitted)

In Our Opinion: Protect the WWII fort

An argument on why Barrett Fort is significant to Prince Rupert and Canada’s history

Structures once built to protect us, are now the subject of whether or not we should protect them.

But should we protect Barrett Fort, once the largest station to guard the harbour during World War Two?

It’s not as though anyone can actually, legally, visit the site that’s on Crown land within the port authority’s jurisdiction.

Prince Rupert has had many groups over the years try to save some of these relics of the past. In the early 2000s, the Forts Recovery Group had intentions to preserve some of the sites, but have since run out of steam. Now, some steam is coming off a few posts on Facebook, where there is a lot of opinion but little action.

READ MORE: Port authority clears land surrounding WWII fort

Does anyone actually care about Prince Rupert, or even Canadian history? Clearly not. It took a couple cherry trees to get chopped down before the community learned about the history of how they came to be planted.

Maybe it will take the demolition of a historic fort to stir the same passion from residents.

The question is, should we protect our forts from ruin in the near or distant future?

Yes, and here’s why.

The North Coast may have some of the richest history in the country, starting with the Tsimshian who lived here thousands of years before. Totem poles, culturally modified trees and other artifacts should be protected, and celebrated. Traces of the old railway will soon be enjoyed as the rehabilitated Rushbrook Trail. The abundance of fish canneries of the coast have been salvaged into the North Pacific Cannery national historic site for tourists and residents.

The Second World War — that more than tripled the population and turned Prince Rupert into one of the most important coastal defence sites for Canada and the U.S. — should be recognized as part of our identity. To simply brush away our past means that generations to come will never learn from it. History is worth protecting.



newsroom@thenorthernview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Month-long water quality advisory still in effect for Rupert residents

The City of Prince Rupert recommends those with weakened immune systems boil water prior to use

Jennifer Rice North Coast MLA seeks re-election

Northwest politicians announce intent on elections

Heart of the City – Jason Scherr

Try and Try again - Prince Rupert Seamen Rugby Club

No COVID-19 public exposures in the North Health Region at this time

Northern Health Authority issued a statement on Sept. 17

Tax penalties of 10 per cent to be applied by City if not paid on time

Prince Rupert Property taxes for certain non-residential properties are due by Sept. 30

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read