The Airdrie Legion Branch 288 approached Airdrie city council April 18 to ask to move the cenotaph from its current location near the Airdrie Town and Country Centre (T & C).
“The cenotaph right now in the city of Airdrie is hidden, shall we say, behand the T & C,” said Airdrie Legion executive member Bill Drummond. “We would like to move the cenotaph from where it is now down to the centre area where the carpark for the (Nose Creek Valley) museum goes around.”
Drummond said the legion held a 100-year commemoration ceremony for the Battle of Vimy Ridge at the LAV III monument located outside the museum April 8 and felt this would be a better location for the cenotaph.
“The legion voted unanimously – there was great enthusiasm – to accept that if the city agrees with us, we would like to move the cenotaph,” he said.
Drummond said the cost to move the cenotaph had yet to be determined, adding discussions with Banff-Airdrie MP Blake Richards about possible access to grant funding have been encouraging.
“Having spoken to Blake Richards, we may be able to get a matching grant for up to $50,000 to either build a new cenotaph or move the existing cenotaph as is,” he said.
Drummond said he was hopeful local businesses would step up to help fund the project, as they did when the legion brought the LAV monument to Airdrie in 2016.
The opportunity to build a new cenotaph would allow the legion to honour the veterans of the Afghanistan and Bosnia conflicts as well as peacekeepers.
There are some hurdles for the legion to jump before the project can move ahead, including speaking to the board of the museum to get them on board. Drummond said he would be doing this in May.
Council unanimously voted to support the legion’s plans to relocate the cenotaph with the caveat that the legion speak to the museum and make sure they fulfil all requirements put to them by the city parks department.
Drummond said he was pleased by the outcome of the vote.
“I was delighted with the coverage that we got from city council. The feeling of the legion is if you asked people in Airdrie where the cenotaph is, they wouldn’t be able to tell you,” he said. “It’s so well hidden behind the T & C. If it moves there, it will encourage people to use the museum and to visit the museum.”