Rotary Club President Jim MacSween was one of the distiguished guests at the opening of the Rotary Lighthouse Park.

Rotary Club President Jim MacSween was one of the distiguished guests at the opening of the Rotary Lighthouse Park.

Rotary Lighthouse Park opens on Canada Day

The lighthouse project according to a speech by Mayor McIntyre was a project spearheaded by the Rotary Club.

The shores of Sylvan Lake are a little brighter.

On Friday, July 1 Mayor Sean McIntyre, along with many officials from the Town of Sylvan Lake and the Sylvan Lake Rotary Club, cut the ribbon to official open Rotary Lighthouse park.

The lighthouse project according to a speech by Mayor McIntyre was a project spearheaded by the Rotary Club, under the leadership of Trevor Sigfusson. Sigfusson, since 2013, lead the project through multiple public consultations and fundraiser’s eventually leading the grand opening on Canada Day 2016.

Jim MacSween, President of the Rotary Club, said that the “old lighthouse had outlived its usefulness” and he knew that the plan to open the new lighthouse would coincide with Canada’s149th birthday. “That was the plan and it was a bit of a scramble to have it all ready,” he said. “The lighthouse had been ready for quite some time, but the lighting and the park needed areal push to get done.

“I tip my hat to the town because it looks really good today.”

The Rotary club raised over $240,000 for the lighthouse project, after the old lighthouse, originally built on private property, was deemed unrepairable.

Over the years the lighthouse had taken up the mantle of being the symbol of Sylvan Lake so disposing of the old lighthouse and then not replacing it didn’t seem like a viable option,”MacSween said.

This lead to the Rotary club seeing an opportunity to have the people of Sylvan Lake be a part of the new lighthouse, which would continue being the symbol of the town. The Rotary Club ended up selling paving stones with the names of the community members, businesses and deceased citizens that people wanted to honour in order to fundraise for the new lighthouse.This way, the names of this community would continue to be a part of Rotary Lighthouse Park.

The park and its walkway leading up the lighthouse are on public property and free for all to enjoy.

“There is still an opportunity for the people who see the stones leading up the lighthouse to purchase a stone and have their name on the walkway,” MacSween said.

According to Mayor McIntyre, “the goal of the lighthouse committee was to build an attractive, solid structure that would stand the test of time.”

He added that since the project was part of Sylvan Lake’s centennial celebrations, he hopes that the new solid lighthouse would still be in place for Sylvan Lake’s 200th anniversary.

“It was a monumental effort by the Rotary Club and the friends of the Rotary Club,” McIntyre said. “They have built and returned to Sylvan Lake an iconic symbol of our community.

MacSween added that the lighthouse is a “monument to the people of this community who have made it the way it is.”

reporter@sylvanlakenews.com