Don Caverley can almost envision the late Eric Sherwood walking the trail that curves around Panorama Recreation Centre.
In fact, he happily spent a few minutes this week walking the one-kilometre trail with Sherwood family members Eric Jr., Leonard and Leonard’s wife, Gloria.
“They were saying, ‘This is something dad would’ve really liked, because it’s very quiet and very natural’,” Caverley said.
The Peninsula Recreation Commission named the fitness trail in honour of Sherwood, a driving force for the creation of the centre and former North Saanich mayor. He died in 2009.
“Eric was an original commission member back in 1977 and he was truly a community focused leader,” said Ian Hennigar, senior manager at Panorama Recreation Centre. “He was also a resident with a vision to provide a healthy community on the Peninsula. And that’s what we see today is the legacy of Eric’s vision.”
Said Caverley, who spearheaded the naming project, “Eric had the vision, the foresight to see that something could be coupled with the North Saanich municipality.”
Eric Sherwood grew up in England and worked in steel mills before coming to Canada. He served in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a wireless operator/air gunner.
In North Saanich he was a businessman, running a TV and radio servicing business, as well as being elected to council.
“Eric was a long-time member of the community, having become a Canadian citizen in 1959,” said Caverley. “He was a very, very strong advocate for agricultural land preservation and for recreation. For kicks, if I could use that reference, he liked to play the piano.”
North Saanich Mayor Alice Finall recalled that Sherwood, after he left office, was the “energetic organizer of the annual Sidney/North Saanich cricket match.”
He also served as president of the North Saanich ratepayers group, was a Legionniare and volunteered with the local air cadets group.
“He was a man who always cared about his community and did something about it,” Finall said. “I did note in his memorial that he preferred being alderman, where he could stir up trouble, rather than being mayor, where he had to keep the peace.”