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ROTHENBURGER: Here’s to those who step up against graffiti vandals

Artist Jeff Jones works at restoring mural on Heffley Creek hall. (Image: Mel Rothenburger.)

An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.

IF THERE WAS ANY DOUBT at all that graffiti is vandalism, the situation at the Heffley Creek Community Hall removes it.

Like so many other community halls in our rural areas, the Heffley Creek hall serves as a gathering place for residents and is supported through the hard work of volunteers. They host events of all kinds: weddings, craft fairs and craft classes, celebrations of life, coffee-house nights, recreational activities.

They make this happen through donations, government grants and rental revenue. It takes a lot to keep a community hall going. In Pritchard, Barnhartvale, McLure, Westwold and so many other rural communities, community halls are an important — even essential — part of life.

In Heffley, a number of improvements have been made to the hall in recent years to keep it in good shape. The latest enhancement was hiring a spray-paint artist to create giant murals around the outside of the hall.

The project was enabled through government grants. After a month of 16-hour days, artist Jeff Jones had almost completed the history-themed murals when the unthinkable happened — graffiti vandals struck, spraying stupid messages on top of the new murals.

There’s supposed to be a code among graffiti vandals: you don’t vandalize another artist’s work. The idiots who tried to ruin the work on the Heffley hall ignored that unwritten rule and actually targeted Jones’ work, aiming their pointless spray-bombing vitriol directly at him.

So, for the past few days, assisted by new donations from the community, Jones has remained on site working to remove the graffiti and restore the murals.

There may be, apparently, some clues to the identities of those responsible for the vandalism, and if they’re found and convicted they should be sentenced to a long period of community work.

And those who keep insisting — and there are a disappointing number of them — that graffiti is a legitimate form of urban art, should give their heads a serious shake.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

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

About Mel Rothenburger (9224 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca 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 ArmchairMayor.ca 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.

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