Letter: Duncan decision to eliminate town crier misdirected

Buss's great role as our town crier had nothing to do with Canada's tragic residential schools

Duncan decision to eliminate town crier misdirected

Dear Duncan mayor and councillors:

Bluntly, I am disgusted and shocked at council’s sad, sudden dismissal last week of our long-time, highly respected Town Crier Ben Buss.

Please rethink — and at least get public input about — your seeming misdirected decision.

Buss’s accolades and promotion of Duncan are worldwide as he is a highly talented member of the World Town-Crier Association.

Councillors’ seeming inane decision will doubtless give Duncan a global black eye in the press, plus on social media.

A distraught Buss noted city council did not speak with him before his termination.

His colourful appearances touting not only Duncan but the whole Cowichan Valley, are far too numerous to list.

But more to the point, Buss’s great role as our town crier had nothing to do with Canada’s tragic residential schools and their impact on First Nations folks.

Perhaps some councillors believe Buss’s 1700-era British red coat and other parts of his brilliant, historically correct uniform — including a Métis sash — are enough connection to arrogant latter-day colonials who launched those evil schools in Ottawa a century later.

Absurd. Council appears to be 100 years out of date.

Furthermore, Buss had a great rapport with, and inspired, many First Nations’ people in Cowichan, across B.C., and during his former jobs before moving to The Warm Land.

These facts didn’t seem to be part of council’s seeming autonomous decision to quietly sack our jovial, popular town crier with a terse letter and $50 in Downtown Duncan Dollars.

Low-class decisions such as this are indeed eroding our great city, and pulling us all back to darker times.

Hopefully voters remember council’s crass decision during next year’s municipal election.

Peter W. Rusland

North Cowichan

Cowichan Valley Citizen