Saint John — If you’re pregnant or planning to become pregnant in the next few months, your baby could be named by and after the Irving Group of Companies.
“If you want your child to be born in a New Brunswick hospital in 2020, the naming rights normally reserved for the parents shall be handed over to the Irvings,” explained Ian Whitcomb, president of Irving Oil.
“The Irving Group is donating a substantial portion to upkeep and maintence of hospitals across the province — especially in the maternity wards — so it’s only fair that they have full access to the names of babies born in their hospitals.”
The famous family has seen success in handing out donations in exchange for naming rights to New Brunswick landmarks. Normally, this philanthropy is limited to buildings — as with the $2-million donation to the field house in east Saint John, now known as the Irving Oil Field House.
Whitcomb said that babies born in 2020, because of the Irvings’ extremely generous donation to local hospitals, will not only be named after Irving companies, but will need to display Irving logos and branding on their clothing throughout their entire lifetime.
“Won’t that be cute?” he gushed. “Irving Oil sleepers, little Kent Homes onesies, tiny Acadia Broadcasting booties?”
Would-be parents have expressed concern that their children will have the same couple of names as every other kid born that year.
“Don’t worry — we’re going to be reasonable about this,” said JD Irving, Limited communications rep Mary Keith. “We understand that it would be too confusing if every kindergarten in 2025 were full of kids named Irving Oil or JDI. But we have a long list of companies — a lot that you wouldn’t even think of. For example the newspapers are all owned by Brunswick News, an Irving company. So your kid could be named Telegraph-Journal or The Daily Gleaner.
“Or what about Saint John Shipbuilding or Irving Tissue? Or Economy Drywall or Irving Sawmill Division? These are all nice names if you really think about it. Better than Mary, anyway.”
Some couples due early 2020 say that, if they can’t name their baby, they should at the very least see some of the money involved in the transaction.
“This isn’t a transaction; it’s a ‘partnership’ between the hospitals and the Irvings,” countered Keith. “It really has nothing to do with parents. If you wanted to name your child, you should have paid for that right.”