Dr. Sun Yat-Sen memorial approved for Central Park
“Dr. Sun Yat-Sen is considered the “founding father of the Republic of China”. He was a leader in the overthrow of the Qing dynasty of imperial rule and its first president.
The statue was created to commemorate the centennial of the 1911 Xinhai Revolution. The foundation plans to celebrate that anniversary by creating 100 bronze statue memorials in cities around the world that have both historic and symbolic connections to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen and his travels leading up to the revolution.
Dr. Sun is respected in both Taiwan and China. The use of his image in Canada is also symbolic of how the People’s Republic of China (PRC) exerts influence on Canadians with respect to its foreign policy. Since 1949, the PRC has insisted that Taiwan be reunified with China eve while a majority of Taiwanese prefer independence. It is worth noting that the Burnaby Now report calls the statue “a memorial to the founding father of the Republic of China. “ROC is the official government of Taiwan, yet the statue was provided by the Dr. Sun Yat-sen Foundation for Peace and Education, which is based in the PRC city of Guangdong.
While originally proposed by city staff for Civic Square , the finance and civic development committee (Councillors Dan Johnston and Paul McDonell ,ABSENT:Colleen Jordan, 8 Senior staff) on June 26, 2014 over dinner decided the other option in Central Park would be preferable, said committee chair Coun. Dan Johnston.This is the extent of the public consultation process.
Council authorized an interim expenditure of Gaming Funds in the amount of $40,000 to advance the detailed design of the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial installation. It will also be the culmination of the “Beresford Art Walk”
An MRA member has raised concerns that are shared by myself that there will be the misconception that Central Park will become known as Dr. Sun Yat Sen Park.
Dave Ellenwood, Burnaby parks director, stated, “A new ‘welcome to Central Park’ sign will be added as part of the Sun Yat-Sen installation to avoid any confusion, and we informed the resident.” Yet, the report does not actually mention the signage, and the resident was not actually “informed of this.”
In my opinion, this gift to the City would be more suitably placed at City Hall. Maybe at some point the City can find the funding to erect a second statue paying tribute to a “founding father of modern Canada.”