It may not be padded and soft like your standard car seat, but a new park bench is certainly going to be a fitting tribute to Ken Paton, founder of the Peach City Beach Car Cruise.
The Penticton Historic Automobile Society and Peach City Beach Cruise board of directors took a step beyond Penticton’s bench donation policy, offering to donate a bench that is as much a work of art as it is a seat in honour of Paton.
The bench, designed by local artist Gerry Houghton, takes the shape of a car seat and door.
“That is going to be all aluminum, reinforced with aluminum piping on the inside,” said Ken Lakusta, a Beach Cruise director.
“The seat portion will look like a car seat, but will also be metal.
“They are telling me it is going to look just like that, it is going to be rolled aluminum and also the door is going to be all aluminum, but it will be reinforced.”
The bench’s location will also be unique. Lakusta said they want to place it at the corner of entrance to Rotary Park, but rather than facing Okanagan Lake, they want it to face Lakeshore Drive, where the Beach Cruise takes place.
“We decided that would be the ideal location, right on the left side of the walkway when you walk into Rotary because of the public and people with the cars. To us, it’s just a logical place to put it,” he said.
“It would face the road, because there will be hundreds of people in the car show and they will have their kids.
They will want to sit in that seat and take pictures, so that is an ideal spot as they are walking by.”
The PHAS will supply the bench and the city will construct the bench pad and handle the installation, as well as regular maintenance.
“If there is anything above and beyond regular maintenance, the society has agreed to pay for that,” said Mitch Moroziuk, the city’s director of operations.
Council approved the donation, but waived the usual 10-year expiry clause on bench donations.
“I don’t think this is comparable to my family supporting a park bench or a picnic table that only has a 10-year life. To me this stands alone and is different from our typical package,” said Coun. Judy Sentes. “This is really symbolic of a very significant event that started very small, has grown remarkably and is an attribute to our community.”