WWI statue unveiled in Longview - High River Times

By Jenna Dulewich

MULTIMEDIA JOURNALIST

The Longview Legacy Memorial Garden unveiled their World War I statue on July 19 during the Veterans memorial service.

The Legacy Memorial Garden idea began four years ago.

“It goes back to 2010 when this dream took place with a group of volunteers,” said Ivor McCorquindale former Longview mayor of nine years.

Starting out with six to seven people, Longview legacy memorial gardens was created to recognize the Veterans, serving military and also in appreciation of 911 emergency personal such as police, fire and ambulance.

“It is important for us to recognize [them],” McCorquindale said.

The committee was kick started with $20,000 from Legacy Oil and Gas Inc. and have been going strong through other various donations and fundraisers since. McCorquindale mentioned a lot of the support for the garden has come through volunteers donating time and services.

“We need to remember,” McCorquindale said.

“I think that there is a lot more interest in the younger generation with our history and I think that is a wonderful thing.”

The event was well attended by dignitaries, including MP for Macleod John Barlow, MLA for Livingstone/Macleod Pat Stier, MLA for Calgary West Ken Hughes (on behalf of the Premier), Foothills Lions club member Diane Bray, on behalf of Veterans Don Gallacher, and local resident and novelist Sue Raby-Dunne.

Barlow spoke at the event on behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper thanking and congratulating everyone.

“You should all be very proud of the work you put in to make sure this project came to fruition,” he said. “To see this has finally come to completion is really exciting and is going to be worthy tribute to our war veterans from today, the past and the future, and also to our first responders.”

The Legacy Memorial Garden was officially opened in the fall of 2012. However, the statues were late and did not arrive in time for the official inaugural ceremony. McCorquindale said after the committee received the statues, they left them in storage awaiting the perfect time to reveal them. Instead of unveiling the statues last year, due to the flood, the committee decided to reveal the statues during the weekend of Little New York Daze, Longview’s fiftieth anniversary as a town, and also the one-hundredth year anniversary since the First World War.

“What we are memorializing today is our World War Veterans,” Barlow said.

“It is a worthwhile honour to remember those families that still live in this community.”

The two statues of soldiers were unveiled around noon on July 19 at the Legacy Memorial Gardens.

Longview Mayor Cliff Ayrey kept his speech short and simple.

“I want to really acknowledge the people that put this together,” Ayrey said.

“Without their vision, dedication and efforts none of this would have been here.