Back row, left to right: Roy Brown, Doug Brunton, John Wilson, Carl Doucette and Ed Patchell Front row left to right: Mark Fitz’Gerald, Tara (Mark’s daughter) and Scott Fitz’Gerald.

Family, friends and admirers of the late Owen Fitz’Gerald gathered at thef Veterans Way Memorial Park site last weekend to dedicate the Veterans Way Memorial Roadway, in memory of the “Founder of Veterans Way.” On a beautiful, sun-filled afternoon, Owen was properly honoured, not just for his role in establishing the Park and Veterans Way, but for the man he was and the contribution he made to this community over many years.

The event was organised by Owen’s great friend and colleague in many projects, Roy Brown, and the script he prepared, detailing Owen’s life, referred to Owen’s career in municipal politics, as well as his constant work to honour Canada’s veterans, and those who never came home from its wars.

Owen was always very proud of his Irish heritage, and this was a feature of the dedication ceremony also. Irish flags were placed on either side of the podium during the ceremony, and everyone present was given a ribbon to wear, of green and orange with a maple leaf between two poppies. The ribbons were a perfect representation of everything Owen valued.

Owen’s son, Mark, made a very moving speech of thanks and appreciation for the honour being paid to his father, and his eloquence, as well as the presence of Owen’s family at the event, added so much to the ceremony. The photograph includes Mark, his brother, Scott, and Mark’s daughter Tara, with the members of the Veterans Way Committee standing behind them.

As a native Irishman, I was very proud and grateful to Roy Brown for presenting me with one of the Irish flags after the ceremony ended. Roy also came up with a wonderful saying to sum up Owen’s legacy in our community. A Sioux proverb says: “We Will Be Known Forever By The Tracks We Leave.”

Now Owen Fitz’Gerald will always be known and remembered by the people of North Grenville in having his name forever associated with Veterans Way.

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