Saturday, May 21, 2022
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New bronze statue depicts special piece of Lethbridge military history

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LETHBRIDGE, AB – A new piece of art will be on permanent display at Exhibition Park which showcases some of Lethbridge’s military history.

It’s a bronze statue modelled after the last gun to fire in World War One from Lethbridge’s 39th Battery. It was designed by local artist Don Toney and depicts six horses and their riders towing a carriage and an 18 pound field gun.

Glenn Miller, President of the Lethbridge United Services Institute, says this piece carries a real local, historical significance.

“There will be an opportunity to reach out digitally somewhere else to learn more,” says Miller. “So if you want to learn more about the gunners or the gun, or the horses, we’ll be able to tell those subset of stories by using a cellphone and QR code in partnership with the Exhibition.”

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He stresses this project celebrates the rich Alberta artillery heritage and also honours the service, commitment, and sacrifice of the gunners throughout Alberta.

Another interesting fact is with this statue being on display at the Lethbridge Exhibition, it happens to be on the very same ground the artillery units first trained.

Artist Don Toney was on hand for the unveiling of the statue on Wednesday. He says it was an honour to be asked to commission this piece.

“Ultimately, it’s a great reward for an artist to have their work seen and enjoyed by people. You know, it could be possibly educational to them which I’m sure it will be. I hope they enjoy it and learn from it and it gives them some sort of sense of their history,” said Toney.

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This statue also commemorates the first truly Alberta Battery raised by Major John Stewart and those soldiers he recruited from Edmonton, Calgary, and Lethbridge.

A future dedication ceremony will be hosted by the Lethbridge and District Exhibition, with the Ambassador of Belgium in attendance on February 19, 2022.

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