Rita of Cascia. Image wikipedia/public domain

Rita of Cascia. Image wikipedia/public domain


ZYTARUK: Former Surrey mayor lobbying council to adopt a patron saint for the city

Bob Bose is lobbying council to adopt as our own Sta Rita of Cascia, an Augustinian nun who died in Italy 564 years ago


It’s hard not to appreciate Bob Bose. He kicks like a mule when it comes to civic politics but doesn’t get too uptight about it. He also knows what it is to enjoy a good laugh.

I hope I’m not spoiling a clever thing here, but the former Surrey mayor, who possesses an encyclopedic knowledge of this city as well as a world-class sense of humour, called me up the other day to discuss his latest project.

Bose, age 89, is known in some circles as the “soul of Surrey.” His granddad farmer Henry Bose was Surrey’s reeve – that’s what a mayor was called, back in the days of yore – from 1905 to 1910. A major Surrey road, 64th Avenue, is also known as Bose Road, after his family.

Given his service to Surrey, and deep roots here, it’s hard not to pay heed when he figures this fine city of ours could benefit from having its own patron saint. He is lobbying council to adopt as our own Sta Rita of Cascia, an Augustinian nun who died in Italy 564 years ago, in 1457.

And why not?

Surrey already has its own poet laureate, two sister cities – Zhuhai in China, and Koto-ku in Japan – and when Bose was mayor, from 1988 to 1996, its logo was a beaver.

READ ALSO ZYTARUK: Surrey council has a storied history of Monday Night Fights

READ ALSO ZYTARUK: Surrey journalist been there, still doing that

When he was mayor, Bose presided over a rock-em sock-em council that ritually conducted the city’s business on a five-to-four vote.

Sound familiar?

But unlike Mayor Doug McCallum – who holds all the power chips these days with his Safe Surrey Coalition majority of five on council – Bose’s vision as a preservationist mayor was often frustrated because his Surrey Civic Electors slate had four members on council while his pro-development Surrey Electors Team rivals had five, and typically, used that majority to foil his crew at every turn.

Fun times, just like today. I daresay Bose probably still had more fun than the present lot, though. Back in the day, when mayor Bose felt that a local reporter was giving him a particularly rough time, to “get even” he went out and bought a small dog dish and had a graphics guy in the city planning department print the reporter’s name on one side and “Bad Dog” on the other.

“My intention was to run down to the Rodeo Drive-In and buy him one of his favorite hamburgers, and present it to him before council that evening,” Bose recalled. “Time ran out so all I could do was present him with the empty dish.”

It’s no secret Bose is not a big fan of Doug McCallum’s administration, probably in no small part due to McCallum having retired him from the mayor’s seat in the 1996 civic election. “This mayor and his councillors are a humorless lot,” Bose opined.

“I got to thinking, given the state of affairs we find ourselves in here in Surrey, under Doug McCallum’s leadership, it might be time for Surrey to adopt a patron saint. No more appropriate candidate than Sta Rita could be found,” he explained.

“I have proposed to some members of council, that Sta Rita would be a fine choice. I left it up to them to google Sta Rita to see why I chose her.”

Pope Leo XIII canonized Rita on May 24, 1900, and, as Bose noted, she “is known as the patron saint of impossible or lost causes.”


Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram  and follow Tom on Twitter

City of SurreySurreyzytaruk column so let it be done

Just Posted

Councillor Doug Elford. (File photo: Amy Reid)
Elford to join Surrey Homelessness and Housing Society as a director

Fellow Safe Surrey Coalition Councillors Laurie Guerra, Mandeep Nagra and Allison Patton will be re-appointed to the board

(Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey council moves to reduce parking along rapid transit corridors

This also targets rental housing developments in Rapid Transit Areas

Big Splash water park is located in Tsawwassen. (submitted photo)
Big Splash reopens Canada Day with changes to keep the water park ‘safe for everyone’

Executive Hotels & Resorts has owned and operated the attraction since 2017

A cyclist stops traffic to allow a gaggle of geese cross the road. (Tino Fluckiger photo)
White Rock man asks motorists to be mindful of wildlife after close call

Impatient motorists drives into oncoming traffic

West Coast Duty Free president Gary Holowaychuk stands next to empty shelves inside his store on Tuesday (June 15). (Aaron Hinks photo)
Revenue down 97% at South Surrey duty free as owner waits for U.S. border to reopen

Products approaching best before dates had to be donated, others destroyed

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Most Read