City endorses arena name change

The City of Grand Forks has endorsed the RDKB's changing of the arena name to Jack Goddard Memorial Arena.

It’s official; the new name of the city’s arena is the Jack Goddard Memorial Arena.At the regular Grand Forks city council on Nov. 25, council voted unanimously to endorse the renaming of the Grand Forks Arena to honour one of the city’s major builders who passed away in September.“This is really a chance to recognize someone who has made a major contribution to this community, and in particular, to the arena,” said Mayor Brian Taylor.“This issue came up at the recreation commission table,” said Coun. Michael Wirischagin, who is council’s representative on the RDKB’s recreation commission. Jack Goddard Jr. first brought the idea forward to the recreation commission. During his proposal to the commission, which took place on Oct. 2, Jack Jr. described his father as being an avid sportsman whose passion for sports, like baseball and curling, was considerable.“When we were little kids, we didn’t have organized baseball or really even hockey, for little kids,” said jack Jr. “The we had the arena built and Babe Ruth baseball. Dad was instrumental in both of them.”Goddard was also instrumental in the relocation of the airport to its present site and the construction of the Boundary Mall.“Jack (Sr.) was a man who was very project oriented,” said Wirischagin. “The arena was his baby. Through his hard work, (the city) was able to build the arena. He was also integral in getting Babe Ruth baseball started in the area.”Wirischagin told council that many parks and buildings are named after people who have contributed greatly to the area.Jack Goddard was elected mayor of Grand Forks in 1966 and remained as mayor until 1973. While in office, the construction and completion of the new Grand Forks Arena was one of his proudest moments. Upon his passing on Sept. 12 at the age of 93, Goddard’s son, Jack, had suggested to the Regional District of the Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) that it would be an honour if the arena could be renamed in his father’s memory.

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