Artist’s rendering of the Rotary LAV III Monument Project – image courtesy of the Rotary Club of Morinville.
by Lucie Roy
The Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV) III Project update was provided at the Feb. 5 Chamber Luncheon by Gord Putnam on behalf of the Rotary Club of Morinville.
Joining Putnam in the presentation was Jayson Wood, who Putnam noted was the catalyst for starting the project many years ago.”
Putnam said the LAV III had arrived in the region.
“It is at Edmonton Garrison who has graciously agreed to store it until we are ready to put it on site,” Putnam said. “In Alberta, there are Lav III monuments in Calgary, Lacombe Airdrie and Fort McMurray. Morinville will be the last one in our province.
“If you look at different projects across the country, they have gone from very simple to very elaborate. We decided to go for a kind of middle of the road.”
The project value is expected to cost $450,000, of which Rotary is hoping to get at least $100,000 in in-kind services.
“We are really looking to raise around $200 to $250,000 dollars, and with that money, we can do the rest with in-kind contributions and grants we will receive.”
Jason Wood said 35 per cent of the $450,000 price tag is logistics; purchasing the vehicle, get it from General Dynamics Land Systems and transporting it to Alberta. “Plus, the vehicle is actually welded, so it cannot steer. So we actually have to get a crane to lift it into place,” Wood said.
Putnam said if they cannot raise the funding, they can scale the project down.
“As you see, the LAV is the LAV. It is what is going around it that will be the major expense in terms of any of the trees, shrubbery, concrete and asphalt, sidewalks, walkways that kind of thing. So that is where we are at.”
Putnam said they want the project to be an inclusive project that is for the entire military community.
“This is for their entire families and for anybody that is past, present or future member of our military, and it has an educational component to it,” Putnam said. “[In] my office right now is a plaque that we received with the LAV that does honour the Afghanistan mission and talks about the lives lost, and I hold it dearly. Someday it will be on site.”
The plaque reads, “2001-2014 In recognition and memory of the efforts of approximately 40,000 Canadian Armed Forces personnel who served and the 162 Canadians who died in the cause of bringing peace and freedom to the people of Afghanistan.”
Putnam said the Rotary committee consists of Simon Boersma, Jayson Wood, Pat Tighe, Mark Stevens and Kal McDonald. The group is currently planning an upcoming fundraiser.
The committee have launched a website, http://morinvillelav.com. Putnam said visitors are able to donate to the project through the website, as well as look at sponsorship opportunities for the LAV III monument.
There is currently no date selected as to when the LAV III will be on-site at the Morinville Leisure Center as work is still being done on the land.