- Municipal Council
Mount Royal, October 17, 2011 – The statue Man and His Community was unveiled in Connaught Park last Friday in the presence of Mount Royal Mayor Philippe Roy and Town councillors. The unveiling ceremony was filled with emotion, as the work was donated to the Town by the Larry and Cookie Rossy family of Mount Royal in honour of former mayor Vera Danyluk. An important figure in the Mount Royal community, Mrs. Danyluk rapidly succumbed to serious and sudden health problems last year. She was widely recognized for the scope of her accomplishments and appreciated in particular for her authentic generosity. Her death caused great dismay.
The statue has been erected in the Pierre Elliott Trudeau Rose Garden, a special place in the former mayor’s heart. “Given the outpouring of respect and affection toward Mrs. Danyluk by Town residents, Council committed to honouring her memory,” said Philippe Roy, Mrs. Danyluk’s successor. “Although the event was inevitably solemn, I can safely say that, for everyone present at the unveiling, the ceremony was symbolic at a very personal and even intimate level. Vera Danyluk had a special gift for touching people’s hearts and creating a personal bond. However outstanding a political figure she may have been, it is truly the departure of a great friend that we recalled. To anyone who knew her, it will come as no surprise that the Rose Garden was chosen as the site for a final tribute.”
Cast in bronze and standing more than two metres tall, Man and His Community was created by Lebanese sculptor Anachar Basbous in his workshop in Rachana Batroun, Lebanon, in 2010. The Rossy family approached the Town on their own initiative earlier this year to donate the work of art. It was also their wish that the statue be erected in memory of Mrs. Danyluk.
“Considering the Town’s intentions regarding a memorial, the Rossy family’s donation of the work was, so to speak, timely. Their gesture is heartwarming and its spontaneity touches all of us deeply. The sculpture is magnificent. Viewers will find that, although modern, it has a very human quality. As such, it is a fitting memorial for the great lady to whom it is dedicated,” Mayor Roy concluded.
The unveiling of the statue on the afternoon of October 14 coincided with the anniversary of Mrs. Danyluk’s death. On the same day, during morning, residents were invited to the planting of a scarlet oak in Peace Park, across from Town Hall, also as a tribute to the former mayor.