ROTHENBURGER – Kamloops has already built a bridge to reconciliation

(Image: Mel Rothenburger.)

A BRIDGE TO RECONCILIATION is within our grasp right here in Kamloops. I mean symbolically, at least, although the international attention the community received after last year’s discoveries at the residential school demands substantive progress on resolving historic and current grievances.

There are times when symbols seem like empty promises; at other times they offend. We build war memorials and keep going to war. We erect statues and then tear them down when they displease us.

Anyway, I was browsing media the other day when I came across a letter to the editor to the Victoria Times Colonist. It was a one-sentence letter, suggesting simply that the Johnson Street Bridge be renamed Reconciliation Bridge.

Interesting idea, I thought. Then my mind quickly turned to our own community, and then to the Halston Bridge. That bridge was completed in 1984 after a controversy in which then-chief Mary Leonard threatened to blockade construction.

As symbols of reconciliation go, what would be better than renaming the Halston crossing Reconciliation Bridge?


Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9641 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

1 Comment on ROTHENBURGER – Kamloops has already built a bridge to reconciliation

  1. The Yellowhead bridge is not mentioned though it seems very suitable. Is it eligible?

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