'Lucas carpark' suggested

The carpark building on Alfred St, Blenheim, should be re-named after the Lucas family and their car business which was on the site for 60 years, a Blenheim car dealer says.

Phil Brown will be speaking to the Marlborough District Council's draft annual plan hearing on the proposal next Wednesday morning.

Brown said he worked for Lucas Ford for 16 years, and he organised a reunion of workers two years ago, timed for Ted Lucas' 80th birthday.

Doing the research for that made him realise how much of an influence Lucas Ford had on Marlborough, especially in terms of training apprenticeships and contributing to the economy.

The Lucas brothers had the highest possible ratio of apprentices to journeymen of any place in town, Brown said. Ted Lucas was chairman of the apprenticeship committee for many years.

"Anywhere you went in town, you'd find people with links to Lucas Ford."

Fred Lucas was active in the community serving as Blenheim School committee chairman when the "new" school was opened across the road, Brown said. He was also chairman of the Marlborough power board.

They also supplied tractors and machinery to Montana Wines and the Yukich family, he said.

People's contributions were often forgotten because businesses were sold or moved on, and it would be a shame if the Lucas brothers' contribution to Marlborough was lost, Brown said.

He had a photo of the Lucas Ford site taken in 1930, which could be hung in the carpark foyer with a short history of the site.

"This proposal fits with the history boards around town and will serve as a reminder to future generations of the pioneering spirits of those who have gone before us."

The Lucas family were thrilled by the suggestion, Brown said. "They're second and third generation. They would like to see their forefathers recognised as well."