Okotoks Western Wheel- Town Welcomes Back Iconic Landmark

 Town welcomes back iconic landmark


Black Diamond: Ribbon cutting celebrates return of the community's unique symbol


By: By Tammy Rollie

  |  Posted: Thursday, Aug 30, 2012 01:33 pm

Residents, members of Black Diamond council and MLA Pat Stier rub the black diamond during the community's ribbon cutting ceremony on Aug. 28.
Seven people rubbed the world’s largest black diamond for luck as cameras flashed during a welcome back celebration for iconic landmark.

Black Diamond’s unique trademark returned to the community Aug. 14 after undergoing about a month’s worth of refurbishing.

Its return was celebrated with a ribbon cutting ceremony in front of the Municipal Office on Aug. 28, attended by Black Diamond Mayor Sharlene Brown, town councillors and staff, residents, business people and Livingstone-Macleod MLA Pat Stier.

“I’m pleased to see the diamond has returned,” Brown told those in attendance. “Now that it’s in its new home and setting it’s great to have it here.”

Black Diamond Economic Development and Events coordinator David Petrovich said the ceremony was an opportunity to celebrate the icon, the history it represents and the brand created to honour its existence as a reflection of the town’s pride and history.

“You would not believe how many people come and took pictures by the icon,” he said. “We easily get hundreds every summer. It’s a big thing for Black Diamond.”

Petrovich said the town’s icon was definitely missed.

“I did some of the landscaping around it and while I was doing it I probably had 20 people come by and ask me where the diamond was,” he said. “Everyone is really excited to have it back. They missed it.”

Marlene Ryks, who works in Black Diamond, attended the ribbon cutting ceremony to show her support for an important symbol in the community.

“It looks fantastic,” she said. “It’s a great space for people visiting the town.”

Petrovich said refurbishing the 41-year-old stainless steel icon was not as easy as one might think.

“We couldn’t even pound out all the dents,” he said. “With hail and how many transports it’s had — it’s the fifth time it’s been transported.”

Even the decision of refurbishing the icon was a lengthy one with plenty of discussions at town council, he said.

“It’s been a long process to get through council,” he said. “To get it through the planning stage was a year and a half.”

Petrovich said the diamond was refurbished last about seven years ago, but not to the same extent as this year.

Put to the task this year was resident Jeff Williamson who removed many of the dents, sandblasted the icon and repainted it, he said.

The diamond also received a new mount, allowing visitors to rub it for luck, which is now incorporated into the town’s new slogan “See the world’s largest black diamond, rub it for luck.”

The new mount for the diamond was also a discussion among council, said Petrovich.

An idea initially put forward to have a staircase to the diamond to allow visitors to rub it was later vetoed. It was essentially decided the diamond would be placed lower to the ground in a new mounting bracket, he said.

The significance of the diamond goes back to the settlement in the area at the turn of the 20th century as a result of the high quality coal discovered in the region.

It is suggested the colour and sparkle of the coal gave the town its name when it was incorporated in 1929.

A member of the community, Erma Brown, learned a black diamond icon, originally created in Rosetown, SK to celebrate their Diamond Jubilee, was up for sale 41 years ago and council approved its purchase shortly after.