Legion to build new cenotaph

Terry Harris of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76 takes a close look at the existing cenotaph located outside the Meadow Lake Civic Centre. Harris is currently heading up a fundraising initiative that could see a new cenotaph erected on the grounds of the Legion branch on First Street West.

by Phil Ambroziak

“It’s a worthwhile cause.”

That’s how Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76 member Terry Harris describes efforts to have a new cenotaph erected in Meadow Lake.

“I have been involved with the Legion for many years and every time we go to another community for some sort of function, we always see a really nice cenotaph,” Harris explained. “Yes, there already is a cenotaph in front of the Meadow Lake Civic Centre, but we don’t have a nice one at the actual Legion branch.”

Seeking to change this, Harris began researching the cost involved. The new cenotaph is expected to come with a $24,000 price tag, but through government grants, contributions from local businesses, as well as private donors, Harris is optimistic the project will soon be underway.

“Things are starting to fall into place now,” he said. “I drew up a plan as to how the cenotaph should look, and that plan is now sitting at the architect’s. Meanwhile, Veteran’s Affairs offers a grant that could cover up to 50 per cent of the cost. If they decide to give us that much, we would be responsible for raising only half the total amount.”

Letters have already been issued in an effort to secure corporate sponsorship while individuals are encouraged to “buy a brick” for $100. Harris said any amount is appreciated, but those who contribute $100 or more will be immortalized by having their names listed on a plaque at the Legion.

If all goes according to plan, Harris also said the cenotaph could be completed by the summer. He went on to reiterate how important it is to properly honour Meadow Lake and area veterans, as well as those who made the supreme sacrifice during times of war.

“Our veterans have definitely been dwindling over the years – we have only a handful now,” he said. “Our main goal when we do raise funds is to support these veterans, their spouses and their children, but we also do our part to sponsor a number of initiatives in town.”

The son of a Second World War veteran, Harris believes it’s important to remember people like his father.

“I have been a member here for 37 years and in my mind we should have something here for our vets,” he noted. “It’s important we show how much we do remember and how much we do care.”

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