Bluffton Memorial Park deserves respect

I would like to correct the Bluffton & District Chamber of Commerce on another error that was apparent to me, in the Letter to the Editor in the June 29 edition of the Rimbey Review.

Dear Editor:

I would like to correct the Bluffton & District Chamber of Commerce on another error that was apparent to me, in the Letter to the Editor in the June 29 edition of the Rimbey Review.

Once again Irene Kurta-Lovell has identified this organization as the “Bluffton Chamber of Commerce,” which may result in some readers identifying this chamber for “exclusivity” to the residents of the Hamlet of Bluffton. Stated in their charter, which is registered with the Alberta Chambers of Commerce, and the Province of Alberta, they are in fact the Bluffton & District Chamber of Commerce, with membership and activities open to all residents and businesses of the district and the hamlet.

The past history of “the Rock” and the Bluffton branch of the Royal Canadian Legion was very interesting and informative, but incomplete. Kurta-Lovell failed to disclose that since the early 1900s, when maintenance of this Centennial Rock site was “handed over” to the Bluffton & District Chamber of Commerce, little or no interest for maintenance was shown by the chamber or anyone else. The site steadily fell into disrepair and neglect. As recorded in chamber meetings’ minutes, “committees” were formed and attempts made to raise funds for the necessary cleanup and improvements, only to be abandoned because of lack of interest and/or poor response to requests for determined member “volunteers.”

However, finally in the early fall of 2008, an ambitious board of directors of this chamber, directed attention to obtaining the support and encouragement of many corporate and individual sponsors, not from actual “cash donations,” but rather by getting them enthusiastically involved with the supply of labour, materials and all of the equipment necessary to restore this “site.” Some of those included Ponoka County, ConocoPhillips (Canada), Home Depot, Rimbey Trees, and Grade 9 students from the Leadership Program at Bluffton School, as well as other individuals.

Because of their interest in this important “restoration of thanksgiving and memories,” these sponsors took time from their own busy schedules to see that this project was completed in time for the rededication ceremony of Nov. 11, 2008.

Honouring this courage and sacrifice of our early settlers, teachers and military service personnel, this centennial “rock site” was dedicated as the Bluffton Commemorative Memorial Park in their honour by Pastor Barry Klassen of Hoadley. On this somewhat foggy, damp morning, this service was attended by government representatives and some residents from the, area as well as the participation of military personnel from Edmonton Garrison for the four-flag raising event.

In closing, I wish to draw attention, once again, to my letter to the editor of the Rimbey Review and published on or about Oct. 13, 2009 expressing my displeasure to the disrespectful use of this Memorial Park for weekly flea market/garage sale activities, even to be held in the presence of half mast flags that may be flying in honour of the ultimate sacrifice that may unfortunately continue into this year.

To those responsible for this inappropriate use of this park, please move this weekly market to the Bluffton Community Hall site that offers more paved parking, while allowing others to enjoy the “rock site” (as you erroneously continue to refer to it) for the dedicated intended use of quiet rest and reflections, to enjoy without noise and distraction from these market activities.

Maeghan Menear,

past president (2006-2008)