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Letter: Michael King, December 5, 2017

Purfleet Quay - Capt Vancouver statue.
Purfleet Quay - Capt Vancouver statue.

The quay should be named after the town’s most famous son, George Vancouver.

Mr Beales’s “fatuous” comment towards the St Margaret’s with St Nicholas ward forum is rude and condescending. Instead of telling people what to reflect upon, which quite frankly is now irrelevant, especially as his Nelson Street analogy took place 212 years ago, he should consider more

of what Lynn stands for and its place in world history. He forgot to mention that also in the past the local authority, with wonderful foresight, demolished Vancouver’s birthplace.

We should sing the praises of George Vancouver as loudly as possible. When I visited Vancouver the city I was amazed to find that people didn’t know that the name Vancouver belonged to a person, let alone one born in Lynn, Norfolk, England.

We should do everything possible to promote his name and legacy as far and wide as we can. Get away from the Nelson obsession. He was born in North Norfolk 25 miles away from the quay in West Norfolk that he might have seen at some time in his life. In the late 18th century that would have been quite a hike.

One could argue, with some confidence, that George Vancouver’s achievements were of greater worth to humanity than those of Horatio Nelson. The latter is lauded for his value as a war exponent, not always as successful as we are led to believe, and as an expert adulterer. Indeed, there was a mad-capped proposition recently, because of his involvement in the slave trade, to have Nelson’s Column removed from Trafalgar Square along with all other statues of his image throughout the country.

So, by whatever measure you wish to use, it should be pretty obvious that George Vancouver did more good than bad and should be celebrated for it. There are more places and buildings in North America and the Antipodes named after him and his crew members than there are here and that is to our shame.

Start redressing the imbalance by naming our own valuable assets after him.


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