New look for cenotaph

The cenotaph that sits across from the Royal Canadian Legion #269 has received a new, more modern mural.

Bill Cavanagh, the past president of the Legion, says the paint on the original cenotaph was fading, and they reached out to a local artist, Adam Schwengler, to see if they could replace it.

“We wanted something to reflect more current serving members,” says Cavanagh.

He says right now there is a lot of representation for World War One and World War Two, but they wanted something that spoke to some of the more recent conflicts the Canadian Armed Forces have participated in. Cavanagh says the mural has a Sea King helicopter, the HMCS Fraser, as well as some of the jets and tanks that are being used right now.

“[Schwengler] kind of far surpassed what our expectations were for a mural and it looks amazing,” says Cavanagh. “He did a fantastic job on it.”

The new mural is on aluminum panels, and Cavanagh says it shouldn't ever need to be refinished. There is also a seal coat on it, which will help to keep the paint intact over the years, even if vandalism is an issue.

He says the volunteers at the Legion have been getting together and brainstorming different projects they would like to see completed, especially over the past two years. There have been many additions and renovations to the Legion, including updated washrooms, a renovated kitchen area, as well as work done in the hall and the lounge. As a whole, the group felt that the cenotaph mural was the last major project that needed to be done.

“The cenotaph is a fully functioning representation of all three branches of the armed forces,” says Cavanagh.

Going forward, the Legion will be working on replacing the eastern part of the roof. Once that's done, they will be fundraising to replace the roof over the original hall.

“We'll just get it up to the point where we can just sit back and relax and enjoy the fruits of our labour,” he says.

Even though many of the needed projects are completed, Cavanagh says the Legion will still continue with its regular dinners and other fundraisers. While they may not have a project they need to focus on, the Legion still donates to help out local causes in the community.

Amanda Jeffery, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Drayton Valley and District Free Press