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Let’s name seafront Canvey gardens in honour of Vince
10:00am Friday 20th July 2012 in Castle Point
SEAFRONT gardens on Canvey should be renamed in memory of a man who helped create them, islanders are urging. Vince Heatherson spent more than 15 years fighting to make Canvey a more attractive place as one of the founding members of regeneration charity Canvey 2000.
Mr Heatherson, of Deepwater Road, Canvey, died two weeks ago, aged 32, after a seven-month battle with lymphoma, a form of cancer.
A one-time chairman of the charity, Mr Heatherson played a key role in creating and maintaining the Memorial Gardens at Bumblebee Park, off Furtherwick Road, Canvey, as a tribute to the victims of the 1953 flood.
Now, relatives and close friends Mr Heatherson would like to see the gardens renamed the Heatherson Gardens, in tribute to his dedication to the Island.
Neighbour and friend Joe Kingsley, 52, of Deepwater Road, said: “The suggestion was made at Vince’s funeral last week, and Vince’s dad agreed it would be a wonderful way to remember him. “I think Vince would have loved the idea, as he was so instrumental in running the gardens and had a real passion for gardening.
“It is a fantastic idea and very fitting for a man who did so much and cared so much about the island.”
Mr Heatherson’s family have approached councillor Dave Blackwell, leader of the Canvey Independent Party, to seek his help.
Mr Blackwell said: “The family asked if there was any way the gardens could be renamed in his honour and I think it is a really good idea. “I knew Vince, as many people did, as one of the people who started Canvey 2000, and he spent so much time down the seafront making the gardens look lovely.
“I am going to look into the process of getting the name changed. “Canvey Town Council is about to take over responsibility for the gardens from Castle Point Council, so I will be speaking to the town council about this. The most important thing is we want is to help make sure Vince is not forgotten.”
Mr Heatherson started campaigning for the gardens, when he was just 17.
He was pressed successfully for a plaque to be put up at Canvey Library, listing the 58 victims of the 1953 flood.
He also climbed Ben Nevis to raise funds for Southend Hospital ’s oncology department. His friends and family are also fundraising in his memory for the Lymphoma Cancer Association. To make a donation to the charity contact Mr Kingsley on 07931 835146.