Trustees propose changing name of Alberni school district, 2 schools
School trustees are proposing changing the name of A.W. Neill Elementary in Port Alberni after 'much discussion has taken place about the values and actions' of the school's namesake, Alan Webster Neill. (Google Maps)
VICTORIA – A Vancouver Island school district is considering changing its district name as well as the names of two of its schools.
The Alberni school district (SD70) says its name fails to capture the geographic diversity of the district, which since 1979 has included not just the Port Alberni region, but schools in Tofino and Ucluelet as well.
School trustees have proposed renaming SD70 to the Pacific Rim school district or Alberni-Pacific Rim school district.
Additionally, school trustees are proposing changing the name of A.W. Neill Elementary in Port Alberni after "much discussion has taken place about the values and actions" of the school's namesake, Alan Webster Neill.
In the early 20th century, Neill was a longtime Member of Parliament for Comox-Alberni who supported the residential school system, advocated for blocking Asian migration to Canada and was instrumental in the internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War.
Trustees are proposing changing the school's name to either Compton Elementary School or Kitsukis Elementary School.
School district officials would also like to change the name of Ucluelet Secondary School to Pacfic Rim Secondary School or West Coast Secondary School. The name change has been proposed to reflect the school's growing catchment area and significant renovations and upgrades that are currently underway.