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Courtenay dedicates park to Stan Hagen

After many years, a Courtenay park has been dedicated to honour Stan Hagen.

A prominent community member and father of five, Hagen moved to the Comox Valley in 1968 with his wife. Hagen worked as an accountant for ER Taylor Construction, which later became Taco Paving, and he would be promoted to office manager and then company manager.

Hagen was also deeply involved in the world of politics, entering the local scene on the SD 71 board, and later the MLA for the Comox riding from 1986 to 1991 and from 2001 until his death in 2009.

He also served in 10 different provincial ministries including agriculture and lands; tourism, sports and arts; and childhood and family development and they are marked by 10 dogwood trees in the park.

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The park dedication follows through on a decision by city council in 2010 and the temporarily named 150 Year Grove in Crown Isle is now known as the Stan Hagen Nature Park.

Dallas Smith, founder and president of the Nanwakolas Council and a member of the Tlowitsis Nation, said Hagen’s dedication to the community helped him become the man he is today and learn how to face challenges in the world.

“If it wasn’t for the mentorship that Stan brought into my life and showed me how I belonged and showed me where our people belonged and helped bridge some of the gaps that we’ve all been able to see in front of our eyes over the last years,” said Smith.

“There’s a number of us who were very lucky to be able to see the light that shone so brightly in Stan’s eyes. I remember the first time I met him, to the first drive we had, the times we spent dealing with the problems of the world that two people with different backgrounds never talked about.”

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Smith adds Hagen’s ability to cross lines and bridge gaps helped create a new generation of First Nation leaders who have a comfort level to solve problems.

“Stan was just a champion of just doing what was right because that’s how it should be done,” he added.

The city adds Hagen left behind a legacy of many achievements, including the Central Coast Resource Management Plan protecting over 500,000 hectares of land including the home of the Spirit Bear, was a strong voice for advanced education and North Island College, and was the founding president of the Comox Valley Community Foundation.

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