February 16, 2017 · 0 Comments
By Jasen Obermeyer
It’s back! The Canadian flag at Dragonfly Park, off Highway 10 and Broadway, was raised Wednesday on the new flagpole, triggering celebration amongst Orangeville’s officials and residents, and celebrating Canada’s National Flag Day.
On February 15, 1965, our national flag was raised for the first time on Parliament Hill. Every year since 1996, when Parliament declared February 15th as National Flag of Canada Day, we celebrate the flag.
For Orangeville, it goes double, as the town unveiled the new flagpole. The original pole was removed in August 2015, after scheduled maintenance revealed structural and mechanical issues due to corrosion. Councillor Nick Garisto and Paul Korsten of the East End Flagpole & Beautification Committee embarked on a community campaign that raised nearly $19,000 for the new flagpole project. The rest of the funding was done with support from members of the community, through their own initiatives, bringing the total cost of the project to a little over $32,000.
The new flagpole is 80 feet tall, 20 feet more than the previous one. The flag has become an Orangeville landmark due to its prominent location and its size – 15 by 30 feet. On social media, people were encouraged to celebrate by using #CanadianFlag and #OrangevilleFlagDay.
Orangeville’s Royal Canadian Legion’s Colour Party played the bagpipes with that all too familiar tune, as Orangeville Mayor Jeremy Williams raised the flag.
Despite the cold day, members of the community and town officials were on hand to celebrate the unveiling. Mayor Williams read a letter from Dufferin-Caledon MP David Tilson (Away in Ottawa), with the letter saying, “The residents and visitors to Orangeville will be so pleased to have their flag back. It is such an honour to represent this community, which takes such pride in showing the Canadian spirit.”
Mayor Williams thanked everyone for showing up and those involved in the project, as it was difficult creating the flagpole and base, saying, “We are in a wetlands” with “very many engineering concerns taken into account.”
Paul Korsten also spoke, saying how important the project was to the town “The flag for all of us has an individual meaning and it’s all important to us in many different ways.”
A plaque will be unveiled this summer to commemorate the community support for the flagpole initiative.