Cunnings awarded Freedom of the City

Don Cunnings is Coquitlam
Don Cunnings is Coquitlam's 11th Freedom of the City recipient.

The 11th person to be bestowed with the Freedom of the City got a standing ovation from a packed crowd in the Coquitlam council chambers this week.

The special ceremony on Monday night saw Don Cunnings, Coquitlam’s first director of parks and leisure services, bestowed with the city’s highest distinction.

Longtime council members Lou Sekora and Mae Reid confer the medal and lapel pin, with Sekora praising Cunnings for being a “mover and shaker” and for laying the foundation for Town Centre Park.

Afterward, Cunnings told council he was surprised when he got the letter from the city last December that he would receive the accolade. And he passed on a few words of advice to Raul Allueva, Coquitlam’s acting general manager of parks and recreation: “Make sure you have lots of money in your land sales reserve because it certainly did help me.”

Cunnings, a Pitt Meadows resident, worked for the city from 1955 until his retirement in 1994.

Also at the event were fellow Freedom recipients Fern Bouvier, Jean Lambert and Eunice Parker.

Other council news:




A strip of land across the street from Parkland elementary is set to be consolidated for retail.

On Monday, council gave first reading to rezone the vacant property at 1649 Como Lake Ave., close to Poirier Street, and send the bid to public hearing.

It’s not the first time the city has received a proposal for commercial development for the parcel, which is located west of the Chevron gas station. In 2011, city council put a plan by owners Choon Ja and Chang Suk Soh on hold after neighbours rallied to keep the lot residential.

Last year, Tideway Development, on behalf of the owners, brought forward a new plan for a one-storey strip mall with four units. If the plan is approved, the property would be joined with the adjacent commercial site that used to house the Harbour Mart grocery store.

City council last week rezoned part of the Parkland elementary site at Poirier facing Como Lake for eight single-family homes.



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