One of Canada’s oldest civic political organizations will decide next week whether to scrap the moniker that has held Vancouver’s mayor’s seat for five of the past seven decades.

Next Tuesday, Non-Partisan Association members will vote at a general meeting whether to adopt the name “Vancouver First” or move forward under their traditional banner.

The choice is a tough one, NPA president Michael Davis said yesterday.

“On the one hand I agree with not wanting to define ourselves by what we are not,” Davis said. “But on the other hand, there is a lot of history.”

The NPA, a political nominating committee, has been in existence since 1937 and its candidates have held Vancouver’s mayor’s seat for 51 of the past 69 years.

There is no connection between the proposed name and Surrey First, the political party headed by Mayor Dianne Watts in Surrey, he said.

In April, NPA members voted at their annual general meeting to form a review committee to look at possible new names for the organization.

The committee surveyed members and ex-members with a list of three or four names, including NPA. The top choice was Vancouver First, Davis said.

Changing the name would require a vote of at least 75 per cent of members present next Tuesday at the special resolution.

NPA Parks Commissioner Ian Robertson, for one, is dead-set against changing the name.

“There is huge equity in the name,” Robertson said. “I just think we’ve lost touch with the voters. We need to reconnect to them and provide solid reasons why the NPA is a viable alternative to what we’re seeing right now at city hall.”

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