Stettler Community Builders set to officially unveil first monuments

The event is set to run Sept. 24 at 3 p.m. at the site, which is right across from the police station

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The time has arrived to officially unveil the first two monuments which have been spearheaded by Stettler Community Builders.

The brief program is set to run at 3 p.m. on Sept. 24 at the site, which is right across from the police station.

Prior to the inception of Stettler Community Builders, Malcolm Fischer said he noticed that some of the local community builders of Stettler, such as Clark Burlingham and Fred Colley, were being forgotten.

To that end, Burlingham and Colley will be the first citizens to be commemorated on the specially-designed monuments complete with information and images.

“I’ve already had about half a dozen phone calls and at least as many emails saying how great they look. And it’s funny as I’ve driven by, I’ve seen people reading the monuments. One time, I went over and asked, ‘So what do you think of these?

“They said, ‘It’s just the coolest idea – I didn’t even know this guy existed!’ I said, well, that’s exactly the point.”

“It’s certainly fulfilling and certainly exciting,” added Fischer of the Sept. 24th event. “COVID held things up, so to finally see them finished and standing there – ‘fulfilling’ is definitely the word for it.”

“We are really thrilled with them. They are unique to Stettler with the big ‘heart’ and they talk about our roots here, and that was the important thing to me,” he said.

“I also like the subtle look of them, and yet they really are quite meaningful.”

Fischer said he was also thinking that although the first two monuments are finally complete and set up, it’s really only the beginning of Stettler Community Builders.

“It’s the end of a step – but this is only the first step,” he explained. “And hopefully this will carry on.

Fischer said he had been thinking about the idea for awhile, and one day his friend Larry Dawson mentioned Burlingham and his significant contributions to the town.

He said he is also hoping this will encourage people – as it gains momentum and becomes more visible – to sit down with family and friends and put together write-ups, research and photos of other ‘community builders’ for consideration.

Meanwhile, the local committee – run through the Town – has about 20 potential names on a list for monuments. And they are hoping to install two monuments each year going forward.

Initially, the plan was to put the monuments near places that were directly relevant to the lives of those being honoured. But committee later felt that the pathway right across from the police station will be the best.

“And as more are added, they will continue along the pathway heading west,” said Fischer. “So at some point down the road, I suppose we could call it a ‘Builders’ walk! As mentioned, we’d like to add two each year, and there are certainly a lot of candidates,” he added. “We aren’t short on that front.”

If anyone would like more information about Stettler Community Builders, they can call the Town office.

“I’m really pleased with the enthusiasm others have shown for the project as well.”