The name of one of Langley's most devoted volunteers will live on through one of the facilities he helped create.
"At the request of the Rotary Clubs of Langley, the Rotary Field House at McLeod Athletic Park has been renamed the Eric Bysouth Rotary Field House, in recognition of Eric's dedication and everything he did to enhance our community," said Langley Township Mayor Jack Froese. "In this way his name and accomplishments will always be remembered."
Bysouth, a long-time Rotarian and Langley resident, passed away on Oct. 13 at the age of 88.
"Eric was a true volunteer and a great contributor. He always spoke his mind and his words were always accompanied by action," Froese said.
Township council immediately approved Rotary's request to rename the facility and Froese announced the name change during a celebration of Bysouth's life on Nov. 3.
"Eric was the driving force for the creation of the Rotary Field House. It is a fitting tribute that it will bear his name," said David Truman, a member of the Rotary Club of Langley and assistant governor, Rotary District 5050 Area C, who put forward the request on Rotary's behalf.
Active in the community for more than 40 years, Bysouth was instrumental in the development of McLeod Athletic Park and the creation of the Field House. As a Rotarian, he also helped organize fundraisers for those in need, and was recognized with a Paul Harris Fellowship.
Equally active in politics, Bysouth served on a number of Langley Township committees and commissions. His concerns and ideas on everything from transportation to Langley reunification were often heard in council chambers and through letters to the editor, and he created a "report card" to rank local elected officials' performance. He was also named Langley's Senior of the Year and the H.D. Stafford Good Citizen of the Year.
His son Randy told the Langley Advance that his father's record of helping various community projects went all the way back to his youth, when he served in the RCAF in the Canadian west during the Second World War.
"With the passing of Eric Bysouth, Langley has lost a real character, an individual who believed passionately in his community," Froese said.
New exterior signage and interpretive signs with information about Bysouth will be installed at the Field House.