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Grieving father launches petition to mark Natasha’s memory

January 29, 2016   ·   0 Comments

My presentation at Council this week was harder than reading my daughter’s eulogy as I am not numb anymore:

 

Council has concerns they will upset others who may have made a similar request in the past or the future. Natasha died in that park on August 8, 2015 at 1 p.m. I have the coroner’s report to prove it.

There have been previous discussions with Council about rebuilding and renaming the pavilion in Hyland Park with the use of some government funding. At this time, I asked if there was any reason the park was named Hyland Park and, if there wasn’t, I requested the park also be renamed in Natasha’s honour.

While I understand there may be a few families related to a large participation in baseball that may or may not have approached Council with respect to renaming the park or the ball diamonds after a family member passed away, I would like everyone here today to keep one thing I mind when you decide if you are willing to support this request.

My only child and daughter, Natasha Paterson, died in that park on August 8. She didn’t die in a car accident miles from the park, or at someone’s home, or at a hospital. She died in the park.

She died trying to put a smile on the faces of everyone who was attending the Fiddleville Parade that day.

She didn’t have to be there. She could have been on the sidelines like many others, but she made a choice and that choice cost her her life; the same choice she had made for the last six years, as she always participated in the parade from the time she was six-years-old.

The Parade was a big thing for Natasha and she spent many weeks prior preparing hers and her horse’s outfits.

In my heart of hearts, I don’t believe that anyone in this Town would object to the renaming of the park. This tragedy has forever changed the lives of both my wife and I, and I feel this request is just a small thing for the Town to do.

Those of you who are parents would ask the same if Natasha was your child.

I trust you will also agree to our request so Natasha’s name can live on and the events of that fateful day will never be forgotten. This way Natasha will always be remembered even after we are long gone.

I would also like to add one very important thing: this is not about my wife or I; it is about Natasha and I would request you name it after her, not just her last name.

 

We feel the pain of Lisa McKechnie’s family along with ours.

We want to work with this family to ensure both parties are accommodated if it is renaming the ball diamond and they are okay with this process. If not, what can be done to comfort them also?

The last thing I want to do is upset another parent who has lost a child.

 

Duncan Paterson

 

Mr. Paterson has launched a petition urging Shelburne Council to rename the Hyland Park after Natasha. To view and/or support the petition, visit www.change.org/p/shelburne-town-counsel-rename-highland-park-pavillion-in-highland-park-in-honour-of-12-yr-old-natasha-paterson.

         

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