WHEN entertaining tourists and visitors to the Peel Region, one of my favourite haunts is our ship story by the historic anchors near Doddies Beach at Halls head.
A recent sojourn to the site revealed that the plaques have vanished.
Vandals have struck at the heart of our maritime heritage.
The Peel region’s identity has never been so vulnerable, with an onslaught from external forces such as copy-cat urban sprawl, multinationalism and soulless asylum-like luxury developments, making the region less and less a community and more of a prison compound.
The knock-on is a collective cultural amnesia or simple apathy about our once-vital identity.
The shipping plaques are a part of our dialogue with the past.
It is a story book.
It belongs to future generation.
The plaques speak: Embrace our heritage, culture and identity or lose it.
Let us teach our young to revere our stories.
To do this we must stir their imagination.
Our writers and painters of the sea, whatever their angle, owe a debt of gratitude to the visionary custodians of our heritage who installed the once-grand plaques.
Meanwhile, I owe future tourists to the coast an apology, on behalf of the vandals – and progress.
Bring back the plaques.
Bring back the tourists.