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Our History - The Stettler Cenotaph November 24, 2021 @ 1:00pm

Lord and Lady Byng unveiled the Stettler Cenotaph on Friday, August 21, 1925. Lord Byng was the Governor-General at the time, and Stettler was just one of the many stops he and his wife were making across the country. The Byng’s were joined by dignitaries representing Stettler, including Mayor Sharpe, several councillors, and Dr. Staples and Mr. E.P Johnson representing the Canadian War Veterans’ Association. The unveiling was a grand event and brought out an impressive crowd.

The cenotaph’s original location was on a small island between two lanes of traffic on Main Street. It sat just south of Prospect(49th ) avenue, roughly in front of where Memorial Hall is now located. However, with Stettler’s growth after World War Two, an increase in traffic made the cenotaph a bit of a hazard. So, in 1951 the cenotaph was relocated to the courthouse grounds a few blocks east of its original location. The names of those lost in the Second World War were added to the cenotaph, which had the original 55 names from the First World War.

By 1955, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #59 set about relocating the cenotaph one more time. This time, it would be moved to Sharpe Memorial park, located by the Stettler School. The Memorial Park was an area of land dedicated to Mr. and Mrs. W.W Sharpe’s two sons, Flt. Lt. Douglas Sharpe and his brother F/O Harold Sharpe. Harold had been killed in action, while his brother had been declared missing in action. Later, the Sharpe’s donated the park to the town, and it was rededicated in the early 1950s to those who had lost their lives in both conflicts.

Later the names of those lost during the Korean war were also added to the cenotaph.

A few years ago, an article in the Independent quoted Wilda Gibbon sharing the memories of when she was a child, and the students would march from the old school (which sat where the Middle School building roughly is) to the Memorial Park for Remembrance Day ceremonies.

The park is well kept by what I believe is a joint effort between the local Legion and the town. I have been told that some people continue to call it ‘Sharpe Memorial Park,’ helping to keep the memory of the Sharpe family’s generous contribution to remembering those fallen in wartime alive.

Carson Ellis, Local Historian

Our Town Stettler


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