McNabb to be honoured with sports zone dedication

One of Nanaimo's greatest contributors to community sports and recreation will be honoured with a dedication to remember his efforts and his legacies.

One of Nanaimo’s greatest contributors to community sports and recreation will be honoured with a dedication to remember his efforts and his legacies.

The city will officially declare sports facilities on Third Street as the Larry McNabb Sport Zone in honour of the former city councillor’s dedication to providing Nanaimo with the best possible facilities for its citizens to participate in sports-related activities. The dedication will take place May 28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Nanaimo Ice Centre.

McNabb, a former Western Hockey League tough guy and Nanaimo city councillor since 1985, died on Christmas Eve after a fight with pancreatic cancer.

He was also the chairman of the Parks, Recreation and Culture Commission for more than two decades, and worked diligently over the years to create facilities like the NIC, Nanaimo Aquatic Centre, Serauxmen Stadium and fields and the Rotary Field House.

“I can’t think of a more fitting tribute than to put his name on something that exemplifies his dedication to the youth of Nanaimo,” said Coun. Merv Unger, a longtime friend. “Larry always said that if you create the facilities you will keep the kids off the street and out of trouble.”

Eleven statues, created by artists Victoria Drakeford and Ruben Galdames, feature sports-themed figures representing sporting opportunities in Nanaimo and will be installed along the Third Street corridor to mark the sports zone. A commemorative figure of McNabb will also be unveiled and a street hockey game will be played in his honour.

“I look forward to celebrating, along with all of council, Larry’s hard work and I hope as many people as possible can be there,” said Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan.

Unger said he had the opportunity to go over the plans with McNabb before he died.

“He spoke often of a field of dreams along Third Street,” said Unger. “I will never forget his pride and gratitude for this recognition.”

Unger added that former community services general manager Andy Laidlaw, now the city manager in Campbell River, was instrumental in establishing the plans for the dedication to McNabb.

“When I first broached the idea of a tribute to Larry he said plans were already underway and that nothing could be better than putting Larry’s name on it,” said Unger.

Everybody is welcome to attend the ceremony (bring your hockey stick), which will begin with the unveiling of McNabb’s commemorative figure and a few brief speeches followed by refreshments.

For more information call 250-756-5200 or view the event listing at www.nanaimo.ca.

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