The District of Lantzville could be heading down the pathway of changing its name.
Lantzville councillors voted unanimously to refer a request calling on the district to change its name to its economic development and branding committee during a council meeting on Monday night.
The request came from resident Brian Blood, who submitted a letter to council and members of the economic development and branding committee, calling on them to consider the idea of renaming the community.
In his letter, Blood suggests that Lantzville should be renamed to Seaside because it carries “no attachments to a person” or function and calls on councillors to ditch a “hicksville-sounding” name.
During the April 23 meeting, councillors seemed receptive to the idea of a name change. Coun. Will Geselbracht said he would support the motion, even if he didn’t agree with the suggested names.
“I think the issue of renaming Lantzville, we should consider it and see if there is an appetite,” he said. “I just have a concern that people will be driving by on the highway and see some other name and miss our lovely town, but let’s let a committee look at that.”
Denise Haime said with the way Lantzville is going a name change might be in order.
“I am hearing people talk about Nanaimo 2.0,” she said. “So let’s put this out there.”
Lantzville Mayor Colin Haime said changing a community’s name isn’t as simple as people might think.
“It’s not cheap to do a name change and procedurally there is provincial legislation to deal with,” he said. “It’s not as simple a changing the letterhead.”
Lantzville was named after Fraser Harry Lantz, a mining investor and entrepreneur, a senior-ranking employee of an American company that owned a coal mine in the community, Grant’s Mine, according to the district’s website.
This is the motion councillors are discussing regarding a potential name change. pic.twitter.com/RRKK4T4tvs
— Nicholas M Pescod (@npescod) April 24, 2018
Speaking to the News Bulletin, Blood said with the district embarking on creating a branding strategy and new logo, he felt it was only appropriate that a name change be considered as part of the branding process. He said he suggested Seaside as a possible name because it doesn’t attach itself to any one person.
“Seaside, I think it is neutral,” Blood said. “It’s not anybody’s name or a long-gone function. I think it describes, in a nutshell, what kind of community we are.”
Blood, who is a member of the Lantzville Historical Society, said Lantzville takes its name after an individual who he said had very little to do with the community.
“We’ve gotten used to it by accident,” he said. “It was named for a man who really had no relationship with this community other than he invested in the mine and at that point the mine was going to be building the company houses, which are long gone, of course.”
Blood said although most people think Lantz was an American, he was actually born in New Brunswick and lived in Vancouver or Seattle for most of his life.
Although Blood suggested Seaside as a potential new name, he believes Seaview could be another alternative and is open to other possibilities that councillors or the committee come up with.
“If [council] agree to change the name I can’t force them to take the one I suggested,” he said. “It would probably go to some kind of selection committee that would come up with a few names and then we would have a vote on it.”