Wayne Bell & Cynthia Allaire-Bell

September 18, 2014 10:13 ET

Parents Who Fought to Make Surrey Park Safer in Honour of Slain Son Prepare for Its Grand Opening

Since losing their son three and a half years ago, Wayne Bell and Cynthia Allaire-Bell have been fighting tirelessly to make Frank Hurt Park safer for the entire community.

SURREY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Sept. 18, 2014) - The site of a fatal stabbing three and half years ago behind Frank Hurt Secondary School is set to re-open as a safer, cleaner, community park thanks to the efforts of the parents of the young man who was killed there.

The grand opening of Frank Hurt Park is scheduled for this Saturday, September 20, 2014 at 11:00am at 76 Avenue and 138th in Surrey. There will be music, entertainment, refreshments and children's activities.

The opening will include the unveiling of a public art piece titled, "Eagle Calling" by Robert Davidson, meant to honour Devon Allaire-Bell, 19, and his childhood friend Jack Nielsen, 20, who were attacked in the park on April 24, 2011.

Allaire-Bell and Nielsen were playing soccer on Frank Hurt field when five South Asian men approached and an altercation ensued, ending in the stabbing death of Allaire-Bell, and life-threatening stab wounds for Nielsen, who survived the attack. Released RCMP footage showed the suspects fled through the forested area now known as Frank Hurt Park.

Since losing their son just steps away from the park where he and his friends grew up playing, Devon's parents, Wayne and Cynthia, have been fighting to make it a safer place for the surrounding community. Cynthia immediately began ripping out the invasive plants which blocked the site lines into the forest and harboured garbage, needles, syringes and condoms.

Cynthia pushed the City to honour her son by name and by taking action, and the City soon got on board, holding clean-up days in which the Parks Department, Devon's friends, family, and Cynthia and Wayne's coworkers from Costco and Coast Mountain Bus Company came to help.

"Although the City couldn't accept our application to have the park named after Devon, it certainly was inspired by Devon and we will always know in our hearts why it's there," said Cynthia. "We will spend the rest of our lives thanking everyone who was involved in this project. Devon was taken from us and we will never get him back, the only thing we can do is come together as a community and take back our parks."

When it came time for park design, Cynthia and Wayne suggested Robert Davidson, a master Haida carver, as a candidate for the public art piece, as Davidson had previously adopted Devon and his older brother Brandon into the Haida Eagle clan.

"Since my wife is not from the tribe and we are a matrilineal society, having our sons adopted into the Eagle Clan was a very big honour for us," said Wayne. "So we were hoping Robert would keep us in mind for his design if he was selected."

Wayne and Cynthia are available for interviews and photo opportunities in front of "Eagle Calling" to help remember their son Devon, and to emphasize the importance of coming together as a community to make Surrey's parks safer.

High-resolution photo of "Eagle Calling": http://ow.ly/BDQDw

Satellite image of Frank Hurt Park site: http://ow.ly/BDR0W

Contact Information

  • Wayne Bell
    Cell: 778-245-1847
    Home: 604-599-0530