CALLS have been made for the Northern Grampians Shire town of St Arnaud to be renamed.
Now is the time to have your say.
The town was named after French general Jacques Leroy de Saint-Arnaud, who was revered for his leadership in the Crimean War in the 19th century.
But North Central News editor Sue Hynes said he should be condemned after he ordered the mass killing of more than 500 Indigenous people in Algeria.
Northern Grampians Shire Councillor and former mayor Kevin Erwin said he was surprised by the suggestion.
"I thought it was a bit out of the blue," Cr Erwin said.
"People have fought hard throughout St Arnaud to retain and build a history on that name."
Meanwhile Cr Jason Hosemans said the call had prompted him to greater familiarise himself with the St Arnaud's history.
Mayor Murray Emerson could not be reached for comment.
Some business owners and residents in the town meanwhile voiced their distaste for the proposal.
St Arnaud Tyre Service's Scott Torney said it was "a load of crap".
"I think you'll find 99.9 per cent of St Arnaud people agree (it shouldn't be changed)," he said.
"We're an elderly community, our population is fairly elderly and they are very proud of the name St Arnaud.
"You don't look back and think about what someone's done, it just is how it is."
Saint Arnaud newsagency's part-owner Narelle Cashin said she had not heard of anybody who agreed with the proposal.
The suggestion also sparked strong discussion on social media.
Commenting on the Wimmera Mail-Times Facebook page, Naomie Brick said the history of the town's name should be discussed.
"Wow, have you read what he did? A pretty horrible person to memorialise," she said.
"I knew nothing of this before.
"I think (Sue Hynes) is just bringing it up for discussion as most people would never have heard of the guy or what he did. So just relax, she even said she didn't think people in the town would agree to change, but she's actually teaching everyone some history."
Jodie Wirth said "a name change doesn't erase history".
"Our history is here to stay whether we like it or not," she said.
"Abhorrent activities are still going on in this world much of which we don't hear about."
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