Dedicated to the Fleetwood Community June 11, 2011
Born in England in 1871 as Eliza Edith Fleetwood, Edith Francis lived in Surrey for over 40 years before her death in 1954. She was survived by her husband James, son Cyril and a granddaughter. In 1914, 9.82 acres of farmland was transferred to the Francis family and, for a time, 159th Street north of Fraser Hwy was known as Francis Road. After her brother, Thomas Fleetwood, died in battle during WW1, Edith applied to have the area named in his honour.
Edith Francis was a founding member of the Fleetwood Community Association which was formed in 1923 to deal with community business and provide recreation for its members. On April 19th 1924, Surrey Council approved the sale of land to the Fleetwood Community Association for the sum of $25 to build a community hall or playground. The Fleetwood Community Hall was built by volunteers in the 1930’s on the northwest corner of 160th Street and 84th Avenue and it became the focal point of social activity for the growing community until 1995 when the Fleetwood Community Centre opened.
This park is named as a lasting legacy to commemorate Edith’s contribution to her community.
Since 2001, the Association has worked with City planners to develop the Fleetwood Town Centre Plan, a vision designed to encourage economic growth balanced with preserving Fleetwood’s uniqueness, history and character and to create a vibrant, sustainable community for all residents.
With the City’s assistance, the Association designed and built a pergola, arranged for a grove of donated trees and a bulb planting beautification project to develop the park and engage area residents. The result was the creation of Francis Park, a much-loved jewel in the town centre.