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Tuesday, 24 October 2017 08:50

Fort Macleod humanitarian gives huge posthumously

Written by  Demi Knight
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Long-time Fort Macleod resident Gordon Elgin has given back to his community after his death by bequeathing $50,000 from his estate to support local projects.

After the council was notified of Elgin’s bequest a little over a year after his death, the appreciation was apparent to Elgin’s wanting to continue to help the community of which he was proud.
Executive Administration and Communication officer for the Town of Fort Macleod, Liisa Gillingham says Elgin was a special individual who had a lot of love in his heart for his hometown. 
“Gordon Elgin was a community-minded person who loved Fort Macleod and the community it is. He was supportive of many groups, organizations and events that happened in town.”
Although Elgin was a beloved member of the Fort Macleod community, he sadly passed away last year on April 24 at the age of 90.
However, his legacy did not end with his life, and by leaving $50,000 of his estate to help fund ongoing town projects, the community can continue to celebrate him and all his kindness into the future.
Gillingham added the first way the Town wanted to use this money was to honour a tradition that Elgin himself was so found of each year.
“One of his favorite events was the Santa Claus Parade — in fact there was one year that the donations to the parade had been low and a call went out to the public to garner up some additional funds for bands, advertising and general expenses and the next day Mr. Elgin called the parade coordinator and had a $5,000 donation for the parade.”
In a recent council meeting, it was decided that this generous donation would be divvied out at $5,000 annually for the next five years to help maintain and elevate the parade and everyone’s Christmas spirit.
“It was an easy decision for us to donate a large portion of his donation and match, for a few years anyways, the amount that he had previously donated to the Santa Claus Parade,” added Gillingham.
Elgin didn’t believe the holidays were the only season for giving, and with his love for the community, Gillingham says the new score clock was a great way to keep Elgin’s name alive.
“Mr. Elgin also loved sports and the sports community so in consultation with the executor of the estate we determined that a great, location for a portion of the donation was the local arena. So, we have designated $8,000 to be towards the purchase of a new score clock and permanent signage recognizing Mr. Elgin will stay on the clock for the life of the clock.”
Elgin, who wasn’t a native to the town, but was born on June 2, 1925 in Olson Creek, retired at the age of 73 and moved to reside in Fort Macleod for almost 18 years before he passed away. Although majority of his life was spent away from the town he called home in his later life, Elgin grew a fond love for the place and the community, prompting him to leave such a generous gift to the people he called family.
As well as donating to the arts and the athletics within the town, the council believed it would be in Elgin’s loving interest to give back to the children by leaving $7,600 for playground improvements at Fort Macleod’s Volunteer Park. With his love for the community in mind the town has decided to allocate for the rest of the money to go toward purchasing two new benches at the Centennial Park with memorial sponsorship plaques to remember Elgin’s great kindness. 
“The parks and outdoor spaces were also a place where we thought that we could ensure longevity of this donation,” says Gillingham on a final note of the projects that Elgin’s donation will go towards supporting within the Fort Macleod community in the year’s to come.

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