The Gold Ice at the Ron Ebbesen Arena is now called the Murray Buchanan Ice to commemorate the long-time resident and former councilor after an official renaming ceremony on Dec. 9.
“Thanks to the community of Airdrie. You can see why my dad loved it so much and why he gave so much time to make the community better through all his services,” said Ian Buchanan, Buchanan’s son.
According to Ian, the event went great with a huge show of support for his father and everything he did in the community.
“It was great to see so much support from all aspects of my dad’s life, whether it was people who served on council or worked in the city or people from Airdrie Minor Hockey,” he said. “And to see some of the kids he coached was really awesome.”
Buchanan served on Airdrie City council from 1986 to 2004 and again from 2010 to 2013. His love of hockey and Airdrie is what sparked the idea to change the ice’s name, according to his family.
“It felt like a really good fit because my dad had helped get that arena built originally, and also was close to Ron Ebbesen and helped get that building changed to the Ron Ebbesen Arena,” Ian said.
Besides serving for many years on city council, Buchanan also sat on the Airdrie Minor Hockey Association board for many years, serving as president for five.
“He spent a lot of time (at the arena). It was basically his second home, so it really felt like a good spot to have his name put,” Ian said.
“Murray exemplified what it means to be an engaged citizen,” said Mayor Peter Brown in a press release. “In addition to his numerous volunteer commitments, Murray devoted 21 years as a City councillor; he truly had an incredible impact in making Airdrie the great city that it is today.
“He was a dear friend and colleague and his dedication to his community will always be remembered.”
An avid volunteer, Buchanan also gave his time to the Airdrie Food Bank and CARES, an organization that raised money for more ice surfaces in Airdrie.
He was awarded the Alberta Centennial Medal in 2005, recognizing Albertans whose achievements have benefited their fellow citizen, community and province. In 2010, Buchanan was honoured with the Soul of Airdrie award for his outstanding contributions as a volunteer.
Buchanan passed away Dec. 31, 2015 at the age of 59.
Ian said it was incredible to see all the people from over the years who respected his father come out and support him.
“You never really know who’s going to come out…. People that we hadn’t seen in a long time that had so much respect for my dad, who had obviously influenced their life in one way or another. It was pretty great.”