Fort Macleod urged to 'Support the Fort'

Pat Inspecting Troops FRANK MCTIGHE

MACLEOD GAZETTE EDITOR

Fort Macleod must support the Fort.

That was the clear message delivered Wednesday night at The Fort —Museum of the North West Mounted Police.

“We have a gem here, and we’d hate to lose it,” Scougall Motors general manager David Arnoldussen said.

The need for Fort Macleod and district residents to support the facility emerged as the museum’s staff and board members thanked sponsors for help it has already received.

Corporate sponsors weretreated to a special performance of the Musical Ride followed by dinner at the Holy Cross Hall, where Arnoldussen presented a donation totalling $6,786 from fund-raisers the company held this spring.

Arnoldussen said people in Fort Macleod and district have to encourage each other to visit the museum and to offer support.

“We need to go door to door, we need to talk to everyone and ask when was

the last time you went to the Fort?” Arnoldussen said.

“When was the last time you’ve seen that stellar performance of the Musical Ride?”

Arnoldussen said Fort Macleod residents have to bring their children and family members to the Fort Museum to see the displays and watch the Musical Ride.

When the community is firmly in the Fort Museum’s corner, then Fort Macleod can approach outside agencies and companies for support.

“If we don’t start locally supporting the Fort we can’t spread it around,” Arnoldussen said.

Livingstone-Macleod MLA Pat Stier spoke of the importance of places such

as The Fort — Museum of the North West Mounted Police.

“We get a chance to go and look to see how people have lived in the past,” Stier said.

Stier comes from a pioneer family and listened with interest to the stories his grandfather told of using steam engines and hay sweeps in the early days.

Stier said the Fort Museum is important for its role in telling the story of the early days of the North West Mounted Police and Fort Macleod.

“It’s always wonderful to see that people continue with these types of events that remind us of where we’ve come from . . . and to remember our roots,” Stier said.

Fort Macleod Mayor Shawn Patience also talked about the important place the Fort Museum has in the community.

“The Fort is as much a part of Fort Macleod and southwest Alberta as any

attraction or any facility we have,” Patience said. “It not only demonstrates our

history, but it demonstrates our fortitude.”

Patience praised site manager Dawn Lauder and her staff for forging relationships

with other organizations such as Head- Smashed-In Buffalo Jump.

Patience also praised the support corporate sponsors have shown the museum.

The mayor said the museum is a marquee attraction for visitors from across Canada and the world.

“It’s so vital to the colour of our community, to the heritage of our community,

and in fact to our future that this facility be maintained,”

Patience said. “It’s truly unique and it’s something we need to maintain.” Fort Macleod Historical Association chairman Mike Bourassa praised the Town of Fort Macleod and local companies for supporting the Fort Museum.

“It’s that kind of community support that we need,” Bourassa said.