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Red Deer “Urban Spirits” Rotary Club makes it’s largest ever donation

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Pictured (left to right) Troy Gillard and Ross Smilie with Rotary Club of Red Deer Urban Spirits, Mark Jones and Alaine Martin with the Cental Alberta Child Advocacy Centre

Urban Spirits Presents $10,000 to Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre

Club’s largest community donation to date!

The Rotary Club of Red Deer Urban Spirits is thrilled to share that they have made a $10,000 donation to the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre (CACAC).

The funds were raised through a successful application to the Rotary Foundation District 5360 Grant program and the 2019 Central Alberta Wing Fest that was held at Red Deer Titans Rugby Park on September 7.

“We are incredibly proud and excited to present this donation to the CACAC,” says Reg Warkentin, President, Rotary Club of Red Deer Urban Spirits. “The work being done by the CACAC is savings the lives of kids across Central Alberta. We’re so pleased to support their work to give vulnerable youth a second chance through our club’s largest donation yet.”

“Community groups like the Rotary Club of Red Deer Urban Spirits are so crucial in our community; their commitment and involvement allows organizations, like us, to do what we do,” shared Mark Jones, CEO, Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre.

“We have had the good fortune in having the Urban Spirits club as an avid supporter and advocate for our Centre, and we are honored to receive this generous donation. This contribution lets us continue to support the children of our community affected by child abuse, providing them and their families with the guidance and direction they so richly deserve.

“To everyone at the Rotary Club of Red Deer Urban Spirits who planned and volunteered at the event, along with all who participated and joined in Central Alberta Wing Fest – we thank you!”

About Rotary Club of Red Deer Urban Spirits

Rotary Club of Red Deer Urban Spirits charted July 2017. Our club members are dedicated people who share a passion for both community service and friendship. Becoming a Rotarian connects you with a diverse group of professionals who share your drive to give back.

About Rotary District Grants

To be eligible for a Rotary Foundation District 5360 Grant, the interested Rotary club must annually contribute more than $50/member and be up to date with their contributions at the time of the grant application. The Rotary Club of Red Deer Urban Spirits was successful in meeting the grant requirements to support the CACAC. For more details about the grant program, email: connect@urbanspiritsrd.ca

About Central Alberta Wing Fest
Central Alberta Wing Fest is a fundraiser hosted by the Rotaract Club of Red Deer and the Rotary Club of Red Deer Urban Spirits. All proceeds support non-profit and charitable organizations and projects. The 2019 event was presented by RSM Canada.

About the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre
The Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre is a not for profit organization rooted in the protection and recovery of today’s most innocent and vulnerable – our children.

 

Community

Lloyd Lewis joins Cam’s Crew with Cam’s thoughts on Remembrance Day

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Lloyd joins the Crew to read Cam’s words on Remembrance Day.

Cam Tait is a newspaper columnist with 40 years of experience.  He lives with Cerebral Palsy and doesn’t speak clearly.  Cam has many stories.  He writes them and his friends read them on Cam’s Crew.

Here is Cam’s script:

THIS IS LLOYD LEWIS, PRESIDENT OF TODAYVILLE – AND I’M READING CAM TAIT’S WORDS ON CAM’S CREW.WHEN CONTEMPLATING WRITING THE ANNUAL EFFORT ATTEMPTING TO EXPRESS GRATITUDE AND APPRECIATION TO OUR MILITARY VETERANS ON NOVEMBER 11TH, DON CHERRY WASN’T A SPEC ON THE RADAR SCREEN.

THE THESIS, OF COURSE, IS TO HONOR CANADIAN VETERANS WHO SACRAFICED THEMSELVES SO WE CAN LIVE WITH FREEDOM IN 2019 … IT’S A REMINDER, TOO, OF THE ACTIVE CANADIAN MEN AND WOMEN IN THE FORCES, TODAY, NOT ONLY IN PEACEKEEPING ROLES … BUT WHO, IN A MOMENT’S NOTICE, ARE READY TO DEFEND OUR COUNTRY.

IT DOESN’T END THERE … IT’S A CHANCE TO SHARE THE STORIES OF PEOPLE LIKE LLOYD LEWIS, WHO MADE A POINT A MONTH AGO, HE WANTED TO VOICE
A REMEMBRANCE DAY SCRIPT IF I WAS GOING TO WRITE ONE.

LLOYD’S MILITARY CONNECTION COMES FROM GROWING UP AROUND MANY VETERANS FROM BOTH WORLD WARS IN THE TINY COMMUNITY OF FORT ASSINIBOINE ALBERTA … THEY HAD RETURNED TO THE AREA TO FARM.. AND THE LEGION WAS THE TOWN GATHERING PLACE.

A DISTINGUISHED TELEVISION CAREER CUED UP, WITH LLOYD LEAVING THE TV INDUSTRY IN 2015 AFTER A DECADE AS CTV EDMONTON VICE PRESIDENT AND GENERAL MANAGER.

LLOYD HAS A DEEP APPRECIATION OF THE MILITARY … AND, IT SHOWS … HE IS HON. LT. COLONEL OF 41 SIGNAL REGIMENT.  IT’S A COMMUNICATIONS UNIT IN THE CANADIAN ARMY RESERVE IN ALBERTA WITH SOLDIERS IN 3 SQUADRONS – EDMONTON, RED DEER AND CALGARY.

LLOYD’S EXTENSIVE COMMUNITY RESUME INCLUDES BEING ON THE BOARD OF THE ALBERTA CHAPTER OF THE CANADIAN FORCES LIASON COUNCIL.

SUCH PRESTIGIOUS POSITIONS COME WITH CHALLENGING RESPONSIBILITIES … AND, AT THIS TIME OF YEAR, LLOYD PROMOTES HONOURING OUR MILITARY HEROS.

WHICH BRINGS US BACK TO DON CHERRY WHO IS IN HOT WATER FOR HIS SATURDAY NIGHT COACHES CORNER COMMENT … CHERRY HAS A VOICE, AND, AT 85, HE COMES FROM A GENERATION THAT HAS DEEP RESPECT FOR THE OUR MILITARY.

CHERRY MADE ONE POINT WE CAN AGREE ON … MORE OF US SHOULD BUY POPPIES.  IT’S A SMALL AND COLLECTIVE ACT – AND THE VERY LEAST WE CAN DO.  AND TODAY AT 11, STOP FOR A MOMENT … BE SILENT, AND THINK ABOUT YOUR FREEDOM … OUR FREEDOM.

LEST WE FORGET.
THIS IS LLOYD LEWIS … AND I’M ON THE CREW

 

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Ag Politics

The rich and sobering history of Red Deer’s “Unknown Soldier”

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The origins of Red Deer’s beautiful Cenotaph date back to the end of WWI.  The statue of the Unknown Soldier is a provincial historic site.  In this article, historian and author Michael Dawe helps us understand the rich history of this monument and reminds us all of the sacrifice of our forebearers.  Enjoy the photo gallery showing the changes to the Cenotaph and its surroundings over the years. 

The Cenotaph by Michael Dawe

There are many memorials around the City of Red Deer to honour those who served and those who lost their lives during a time of war. The main community memorial is the Cenotaph, the statue of the Unknown Soldier that stands in the centre of Ross Street in the heart of downtown Red Deer.

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The origins of the Cenotaph go back to the end of the First World War. That conflict had been a searing experience for Red Deer. 850 young men and women from the City and surrounding districts had enlisted. Of these, 118 lost their lives. Of those who returned, many had suffered terrible wounds and faced a lifetime of ill health and suffering.  Hence, it was extremely important to the community that a fitting and very special memorial be created.

On December 18, 1918, five weeks after the end of the War, the Central Alberta local of the Great War Veterans Association (forerunner of the Royal Canadian Legion) organized a large public meeting to discuss the creation of such a memorial.  Three proposals were initially made. The first was to construct a pyramidal monument of river cobblestones in the centre of the City. The second was to construct a community hall and recreation facility next to City Hall. The third was to purchase the old Alexandra (Park) Hotel and turn it into a community centre.

After considerable discussion, a fourth proposal was adopted. It was decided to build a monument rather than a community centre.  However, at the suggestion of Lochlan MacLean, it was also decided that this monument be in the form of a statue of a soldier, mounted on a pedestal, rather than a cobblestone pyramid or obelisk.

Major Frank Norbury, an architectural sculptor at the University of Alberta and a veteran of the War, was commissioned to carve the statue. He came up with the concept of carving the Unknown Soldier as he was coming off active duty on the front line. He was to face west, toward home and peace. He was also to be positioned towards the C.P.R. station from which most of the soldiers had left Red Deer for the War.

This latter point was one of the greatest controversies about the Cenotaph. City Council and a few others wanted it in the centre of the City Square (now City Hall Park). However, the majority wanted it facing directly towards the station and in the middle of Ross Street, Red Deer’s busiest thoroughfare, so that it would be a constant reminder of the sacrifices of the War.

Meanwhile, fundraising for the project commenced, but proved quite a challenge. Post-war Red Deer faced one of the worst economic depressions in its history. However, despite the general shortage of money, by the following summer more than half of the $6200 needed had been raised.  Unfortunately, Red Deer City Council decided that given its financial situation, it could not contribute any money to the project. This decision reinforced the opinion of the Memorial Committee that Council’s wish to have the Cenotaph in the middle of the City Square should be ignored.

There were still a lot of hard feelings about that lack of official City participation. Eventually, City Council agreed to build a boulevard in the middle of Ross Street, west of 49 Avenue, as a site for the Cenotaph. A decision was also made to place street lights at either end of that boulevard to provide nighttime illumination of the spot.

There was another debate regarding the proper means of recording the names of those killed in the War. Some wanted tablets placed on the pedestal. However, the Memorial Committee was worried about having a complete and accurate list. Finally, it was agreed to have two scrolls prepared, one with the names of those who had served and one with the names of those who had lost their lives. Both scrolls were put into a copper tube and placed in a cavity in the pedestal.

On September 15, 1922, the Cenotaph was officially unveiled. To the delight of the community, Governor General Lord Byng of Vimy agreed to come and do the honours. Lord Byng was a hero of one of Canada’s most significant military victories, the Battle of Vimy Ridge. Vimy was also a victory that had also come with very heavy loss of life, both locally and nationally.

At the time of the official unveiling, it was reported that the Cenotaph was the first sculpture war memorial in Alberta. Once the official dedication was completed, the monument was placed into trust with the City on behalf of those who had contributed to its creation.

The Cenotaph was rededicated in 1949 to include remembrance of those who served and lost their lives in the Second World War. A plaque signifying that designation was added to the pedestal. After the completion of the new City Hall Park and the Memorial Centre in the early 1950’s. there was a push to relocate the Cenotaph from its location on Ross Street to either the centre of City Hall Park or a new site in front of the Memorial Centre. However, a plebiscite was held in 1953 in which the citizens of Red Deer voted to keep the Cenotaph were it was.

Another plaque was added in 1988 in memory of those who served and died in the Korean Conflict. At the same time, through the efforts of some dedicated members of the public, special lighting was added to ensure that the Cenotaph was highly visible at night.

There were new proposals in the 1990’s to relocate the Cenotaph to City Hall Park. However, Charlie Mac Lean, son of Lochlan MacLean and one of the last surviving people to have actually built the Cenotaph, offered the opinion that he did not think that the monument could be safely relocated.

In 2006, the Cenotaph was extensively cleaned and repaired. City Council then successfully applied to have the Cenotaph designated as a Provincial Historic Site. In 2010-2011, a beautiful Veterans’ Park was created around the Cenotaph, to enhance it and to make it more accessible to the public.  Moreover, eight interpretive panels were created to let people know the full significance of Red Deer’s official war memorial. They give the stories of those who served in the Boer War, First World War, Second World War, Korean Conflict, the Afghanistan War and all the peace-keeping and peace-making missions in which Canadians have been involved.

Lest We Forget.

Michael Dawe

Here are some other local history stories you might enjoy

The Battle of Vimy Ridge Described by Michael Dawe

Armistice Day 11/11/1918 from a Red Deer perspective in pictures and story

 

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november, 2019

thu21novAll Daysun24Festival of Trees(All Day)

thu21nov6:00 pm11:00 pmFestival of Trees - Preview Dinner6:00 pm - 11:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

fri22nov8:00 pm11:00 pmFestival of Wines8:00 pm - 11:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

sat23nov9:00 am12:00 pmFestival Family Bingo - 1st time ever!9:00 am - 12:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

sat23nov6:00 pm11:00 pmMistletoe Magic !6:00 pm - 11:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

sat23nov8:00 pmRed Deer Nov 23 - Calgary's THIRD CHAMBER - EP release show "Harvesting Our Decay"8:00 pm

sun24nov9:00 am12:00 pmBreakfast with Santa9:00 am - 12:00 pm MST Westerner Park, 4847A-19 Street

mon25nov6:30 pm8:30 pmRustic Succulent Box WorkshopUnique Workshop to create Succulent Box6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

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