Mayors to Push for Correct Spelling of Matchette Road

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Mayor Drew Dilkens is pushing to correct the spelling of Matchette Road in west Windsor.

The road that stretches from Prince Road in Windsor all the way through the Town of LaSalle is named after Alfred Matchett, whose name doesn't end with an "e."

Matchett was a veteran of the Fenian Raids on Canada and one of the first people to settle in what was then known as Ojibway Town.

After a recent conversation with one of his descendants, Dilkens decided to look deeper and discovered the spelling of the road was "mysteriously changed" at some point in the 1940's.

"He has a family member who's been very diligent about trying to get this corrected," he says. "Once we looked at it and I had the museum folks get all the information and put it together he was absolutely right."

Dilkens says administration verified the road is named after Matchett.

"Folks in our museum department took away that request and put the information together, and in fact, Matchette Road in the City of Windsor is spelled incorrectly," says Dilkens. "There should not be an "e" on the end of it."

He believes the city owes it to the family to make it right.

"I can only imagine if a city or municipality was kind enough to name a road after you, darn right I'd want a family member to make sure there's some dignity in making sure that the name was spelled correctly," he says. 

LaSalle Mayor Marc Bondy says the issue came before council of the day many years ago, but nothing was done.

After an informal conversation with Dilkens, he was sold on the idea in LaSalle as well.

"Administration will bring a recommendation to one of our council meetings shortly and I will definitely push to change our signs accordingly," he says. 

Bondy says the previous effort was likely shot down because both municipalities need to make the change.

"I don't think the city was on board at that time, now that they are and especially when you're talking about our heritage, we should honour him properly," he added.

Bondy says there's no reason to deny the request if the history has been verified.

"I believe, and this is just going on my memory, someone accidentally put an "e" in there and it was just never corrected," he says.

Newspaper archives show the family had lobbied to have the name change as recently as 2011 and as far back as the '70s.

Dilkens plans to bring the issue to the next meeting of Windsor's city council.

He says the correction could cost anywhere from $8,000 to $10,000.

With files from Kristylee Varley and Rob Hindi