Ten years march­ing strong

Claude Gar­land me­mo­rial walk takes place Oct. 19 in Car­bon­ear

The Compass - - NEWS - BY MELISSA JENK­INS

It has been 10 years since Car­bon­ear hosted its first mayor’s walk in mem­ory of the late Claude Gar­land.

Gar­land was mayor of the town when he died while out moose hunt­ing af­ter suf­fer­ing a heart at­tack on Oct. 19, 2004.

In Oc­to­ber of 2006, the first Mayor’s March in his mem­ory was held. To date, the event in Car­bon­ear has raised over $60,000.

The Mayor’s March is an event spon­sored by the Heart and Stroke Foun­da­tion New­found­land and Labrador chap­ter. Although it is an event that takes place all over the is­land, this was the first of the events that hon­oured a mayor who died while still in of­fice.

“It was the first of its kind,” said Car­bon­ear-Har­bour Grace MHA Sam Slade, who helped or­ga­nize the first eight walks.

Slade be­came the mayor in the fol­low­ing elec­tion af­ter Gar­land’s death. They were close friends, so the event means a lot to Slade.

“It’s the tenth an­niver­sary, and I cer­tainly would like to see peo­ple sup­port it like they have in the past,” he said.

Still go­ing strong

Although there are no for­mal cel­e­bra­tions planned for the mile­stone event, the Gar­land fam­ily was happy that it is still go­ing strong af­ter a decade.

“Me and my fam­ily could not be more hon­oured,” said Gar­land’s son, also named Claude. “It truly goes to show the re­spect that peo­ple had for him.”

His son will be work­ing away this year, but other fam­ily mem­bers are ex­pected to at­tend.

“Our en­tire fam­ily is very proud of how suc­cess­ful this event has been and the tremen­dous amount of sup­port re­ceived from the com­mu­nity,” said daugh­ter San­dra Gar­land. “I know that my fa­ther would have been very pleased with the to­tal amount of money raised for the Heart and Stroke Foun­da­tion.”

Gar­land was a vol­un­teer fire­fighter, and the town’s depart­ment at­tends the walk each year. The lo­cal girl guides at­tend as well, rais­ing money for the cause. In fact, many of those who par­tic­i­pate have been com­ing since the be­gin­ning, said Slade.

“It’s im­por­tant that his legacy lives on and it’s for a good cause,” Slade noted. “To­mor­row it could be my turn, or some­one else’s turn.”

The Heart and Stroke Foun­da­tion uses the funds raised for re­search and for health ed­u­ca­tion and pro­mo­tion pro­grams.

For years, the Claude Gar­land Me­mo­rial Walk re­ceived cer­tifi­cates from the foun­da­tion be­cause the par­tic­i­pants raised the most money in the province. This is some­thing Slade is very proud of.

“Ev­ery year we went (to the awards ban­quet), we re­ceived that cer­tifi­cate,” Slade said. “But we never did it for recog­ni­tion. We did it for Claude.”

Remembering Claude

Daugh­ter San­dra has many fond mem­o­ries of her dad, but one stands out in her mind.

“One thing I’ll al­ways re­mem- ber about my fa­ther was the small notebook that he car­ried around in his shirt pocket,” she said. “When­ever some­one called him with an is­sue he al­ways pulled out his notebook, which was held to­gether with an elas­tic band — a far cry from tech­nol­ogy to­day — and wrote down their con­cern.”

Ev­ery time Gar­land would com­plete a task, he scratched it off the list in his book.

“This notebook was his life­line to the peo­ple,” San­dra ex­plained. “And (it) re­ally sig­ni­fied to me how ded­i­cated he was to our town.”

Slade re­mem­bers Claude as a great mayor, not­ing how he was al­ways there for the peo­ple. No job was too big or too small for him, Slade said.

Many sto­ries of Gar­land are shared each year at the event, in­clud­ing when he’d go above and be­yond. Slade said that was the kind of per­son Gar­land was. He was there to help when needed, whether if it was just to lis­ten to con­cerns or if he had to take his own truck with a plow on it to help some­one stuck in their drive­way in the win­ter.

Con­tin­u­ing the walk

There has been a slight

de- crease in the num­ber of par­tic­i­pants over the years, but Slade hopes that will change.

“I’d like to see it con­tinue on, like it has for 10 years.”

The walk will take place Mon­day, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Conception Bay Re­gional Com­mu­nity Cen­tre. A walk around the Ge­orge W. Earle Prom­e­nade (board­walk) will be fol­lowed by re­fresh­ments served in­side the com­mu­nity cen­tre.

Any­one want­ing to take part in the event can get a pledge form at the Town of Car­bon­ear coun­cil of­fice or call 596-3831.

COM­PASS FILE PHOTO

Claude Gar­land died on Oct. 19, 2004 from a heart at­tack while he was still serv­ing as the mayor of Car­bon­ear.

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