Thursday, May 23, 2024

Victoria looks to honour local legend with new commemorative street signs


In Victoria’s Committee of the Whole meeting on Thursday, April 11th, city council will discuss giving Higgins Street a new name to honour a former City employee and influential member of the local baseball community. 

Doug Hudlin passed away in 2014 at the age of 91-years-old after a lifetime of creating change in Victoria through his love for baseball.

In 2017, the City declared June 11th as ‘Doug Hudlin Day to honour him as a long serving employee of Victoria and an umpire of 40 years. 

He worked with adults and kids in Victoria’s little league community, teaching people to play baseball and acting as umpire for countless games. 

Hudlin was chosen to be the first non-American umpire in the Little League World Series and was the first international umpire to be asked to call the game more than once. 

In addition to these feats, Hudlin was a founding member of the British Columbia Black History Awareness Society and he has been inducted into the Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame, the B.C. Baseball Umpires Association Hall of Fame, the Little League Umpire Alumni and the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

Now, because of his years of service as an umpire at Jerry Hale field, located at Hillside and Cook Streets, Mayor Marianne Alto and City Councillor Chris Coleman are bringing forward a council member motion to rename an adjacent street in his name. 

He already has a plaque at the Jerry Hale field that was installed in June 2017 and the motion would see that this June, on the seventh anniversary of that first recognition, the city may mount three commemorative memorial street signs beneath the regular street signs marking Higgins Street. 

The additional signs, which would not legally replace the current street name, would read Doug Hudlin Memorial Way.

They would be mounted at the corners of Higgins at Hillside, Higgins at Basil and Higgins at Cook Street. 

Mayor Alto and Councillor Coleman stipulate in their motion that the cost of this endeavour would not exceed $1,000 and would come out of the parks department’s allocated budget. 

Council will vote whether or not to go ahead with the additional street signs on Thursday afternoon.

Curtis Blandy

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