Ward 2 Coun. Michael Vagnini shows off one of the new sign toppers that will sit atop every sign in Little Creighton. Photo by Arron Pickard
Residents rally to rename their community
Out with the old, and in with the new.That was the spirit of the renaming ceremony that saw Dogpatch become Little Creighton on Saturday at Meatbird Lake near Lively. Ward 2 Coun. Michael Vagnini and Mayor Brian Bigger made the proclamation.Originally, the village was named Rockville. About 50 years ago, when the Lil’ Abner cartoon came out, featuring a fictional clan of hillbillies in the impoverished mountain village of Dogpatch, USA, people started affiliating the village with the name Dogpatch, said Vagnini, a third-generation Creightonite.
“There was a segregation that went on,” he said. “People seemed to look down on the people of the village. When I went to school, I had to travel from Creighton, and we would always drive by Dogpatch, and we would say, ‘Oh, there are the kids from Dogpatch.’ It had that stigma attached to it.”The term Dogpatch is affiliated with a great deal of negativity throughout history, Vagnini said. For instance, in Viet Nam, the sleeping areas for soldiers were called Dogpatches, and some of the worst prisons in Viet Nam were known as a Dogpatch.“These people have gone to great lengths to revitalize the entire community,” he said. “It’s an entire mindset that is changing. The residents are very excited about it, and going forward, you’re going to see a lot more good things coming from Little Creighton.”
There are 52 homes in Little Creighton, and 100 per cent of the residents are in favour of this change,he said.
“The residents approached me with the idea to rebrand the community, because they have always felt that people view them as second-class citizens,” Vagnini said. “Really, 70 per cent of residents in what is now Little Creighton originally came from the Creighton area. My own childhood home was floated down from Creighton and now resides on John Street. Other homes were also floated down when Creighton Mine closed in 1986. It’s a new beginning.
Mayor Brian Bigger read and signed the official proclamation renaming Dogpatch as Little Creighton.
“I get a chance to see many neighbourhoods filled with many active and engaging citizens, and it’s always inspiring to see how groups come together to make change happen,” he said. “I know this will have a very positive impact on this neighbourhood and the people living there today.”
New sign toppers will be added to every street sign in Little Creighton, Vagnini said, and added he plans to host community celebrations there, including a Christmas party.