Date: November 1, 2002
RTS No. 03066
CC File No. 1041
Council: November 26, 2002
Vancouver City Council
Financial Support for the Maintenance of Captain George Vancouver's Grave in Petersham, England
A. THAT Council provide a grant of $15,000 to increase the trust held for the maintenance of Captain Vancouver's grave at St. Peter's Church, Petersham, Surrey, England (raising the balance of the trust to $16,480), source of funds to be the 2002 Contingency Reserve, and
B. THAT Council authorize an increase in the payment for the maintenance of the grave to £250.00 annually ($615 Cdn at current exchange rates).
CITY MANAGER'S COMMENTS
The City Manager submits the foregoing for Council's CONSIDERATION.
Council policy has been to maintain Captain George Vancouver's grave in perpetuity.
Approval of grant recommendations requires 8 affirmative votes.
The purpose of this report is to seek Council's approval for an increase to the annual payments for the maintenance of Captain George Vancouver's grave in St. Peter's Church, located in the Village of Petersham, Richmond, Surrey, England, and to increase the Trust which supports the payments.
Close ties exist between St. Peter's Church, Petersham, England and the City of Vancouver, due largely to the fact that Captain George Vancouver is buried on this Church site. Many Canadians visit this site annually as they discover the fascinating life story of Captain Vancouver.
Vancouver has traditionally assisted in the maintenance of his grave. In 1970, with Council's approval, a $1,000 Trust Fund was set up, the amount invested in a bond, and the yearly interest generated was sent to St. Peter's Church to help maintain the grave. The last amount disbursed was $175, which was sent in 1994 to a Boy Scout troup in Petersham, who at that time were maintaining the grave. However, contact has been lost with the group, and consequently, no payments have been made from the Fund since that time. St. Peter's Church has been maintaining the gravesite since 1994. Captain Vancouver's memory is honoured each year near to the date of his death, and the Agent General for British Columbia, the Mayor of the London Borough of Richmond, and the local Sea Scout Troup all lay wreaths at the gravesite.
Contact with St.Peter's Church has been renewed in recent months, and the Vicar of St. Peter's Church has forwarded a request for a contribution towards the maintenance of the gravesite. As the relationship has been re-established, financial support for the maintenance of Captain Vancouver's grave can re-commence. Since the establishment of the Trust in 1970, not only have costs risen, but the strength of the British pound has increased, decreasing the relative value of the Canadian dollar. These two financial impacts indicate the need to increase the annual payment to St. Peter's Church, and to increase the Trust in order to ensure the interest generated will be sufficient to cover the annual payment. An amount of £250.00 annually has been identified as sufficient to cover maintenance costs.
The current balance in the Trust Fund is $1,480; the cash for the Trust account is held in the City of Vancouver's general pool. Council is asked to consider increasing the Trust Fund by the amount of $15,000, source of funds to be Contingency Reserve, resulting in a balance of $16,480, which is sufficient to generate an amount of £250/year in interest.
The proposed increase to both the Trust and to the annual payments will be sufficient to cover maintenance costs of the upkeep of Captain Vancouver's gravesite in the Village of Petersham, Richmond, Surrey, England, and will help to maintain the link between the two cities.
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