Duncan council decides to 'retire' town crier position

Duncan's city hall is seen in this photo from the city's Facebook page.

A Vancouver Island city has decided to move on from its symbolic town crier position, citing a need to "re-evaluate the practices and symbolism of the past."

Duncan's city council said in a news release Friday that it has re-evaluated its city ambassador position, which has been filled by a town crier in traditional British regalia since 1995.

“Everything has its time and at this time, council has made the decision to retire the position of town crier,” said Duncan Mayor Michelle Staples, in the release.

“As we move into the future, the City of Duncan looks forward to working with our neighbours and community to create a new city ambassador role to represent the city at events and greet our many visitors.”

The release noted that town criers have been found in North America since Europeans began colonizing the continent, and persisted into the 20th century in some places, before transitioning into a more symbolic role.

City councillors and staff thanked current town crier Ben Buss and his predecessor Robert Alexander for their service.

"Their regalia and cries will live on in many for years to come," the council said in its release.