Whitehorse Daily Star

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Photo by Dan Davidson

OFFICIAL NAMING — The Dawson City Football Club is re questing the city to rename a soccer field after Irwin Gaw who has had a significant impact on minor soccer.

Commemorative name sought for Dawson pitch

Speaking for the Dawson City Football Club/Minor Soccer Association,

By Dan Davidson on October 31, 2017

Speaking for the Dawson City Football Club/Minor Soccer Association, Johnny Nunan approached council’s October 16 committee of the whole (COW) meeting about giving a name to the area that is currently known informally as the Crocus Bluff soccer field.

“We’d like to give it the official name of Gaw Field,” he said.

This request is in honour of Irwin Gaw, who is the individual in town most responsible for the creation of that field and the advancement of minor soccer in the community.

This was a verbal presentation, and Coun. Stephen Johnson asked that Nunan present council with a request letter for procedural purposes.

“Absolutely,” Nunan replied. “If you require that, no problem.

“As I’ve said many, many times, the field just doesn’t exist without Irwin and his hours and hours of putting this together.”

Nunan revealed that the association has recently submitted a Community Development Fund (CDF) application to further develop the field.

Coun. Bill Kendrick wanted to know if there were any investors in the field who might object or if there were any prohibitions on naming the field due to CDF monies it has received in the past.

When Nunan seemed puzzled, Kendrick explained that he was just anxious that there should be no impediment to council taking this step due to objections by any other group or, for that matter, the government.

Nunan said that while there were some local businesses that have supported the making of the field, they were all on board with this idea.

Mayor Wayne Potoroka wondered about the protocol for doing this sort of thing, as it has been some time since the city has named a building or a road after anybody.

The Old Dome Road (also formerly the AC Trail) was renamed Mary McLeod Road after the new Dome Road was created some years ago.

When the recreation centre was named for Art and Margaret Fry, that recommendation came through the town’s recreation board.

He wondered if that might not apply in this case, if it might not be good to have the rec board on side.

“I’m happy to see it named after him too,“ Potoroka said. “I’m just trying to figure out the correct process for doing it.“

Nunan agreed that if there was such a process in place, it would be good to follow it, but if there wasn’t a process to apply to this request, he hoped that council would just be able to get on with it and do it.

“Let’s not have too much red tape. The soccer community is in favour of this, the rec community is in favour of this, because we open it up to (other activities, such as) the Highland Games,“ Nunan said.

He noted that simply giving it a name was not going to prevent other groups from using it when it was not being used for soccer.

“This is a very prominent citizen, with 30 years in town, who has done tremendous things. That’s all it is, a feel-good story.“

“Absolutely,” Potoroka agreed, but requested that the soccer association be patient, l]et council run the idea past the recreation board, and most likely complete the desired name change in about four weeks.

As it turned out, such namings are done by bylaw, so it will take two more full council meetings to concur with this request, though it is virtually certain that it will happen.

In the meantime, minor soccer will move indoors for the winter and be scheduled into the massively used Robert Service School gymnasium.

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