Roses are red, white, yellow and pink.
Five hundred people gathered at the Marguerite Lougheed Centre were given a dozen roses in celebration of the funeral home's 60th anniversary. Each bouquet was made of red roses, for love, white roses for faith, yellow roses for friendship and pink roses for appreciation.
Those 500 represented the many facets of Sudbury: retired and current politicians, former Lougheed employees, representatives from the business community, members of the public.
The roses, Gerry Lougheed Jr. said, were tokens on behalf of the family in appreciation to the community the family has called home since 1952. Both Lougheed Jr. and his brother, Geoffrey, as well as the company's staff, were on hand, along with dignitaries, for the celebration.
In honour of Lougheed Limited's 60 years, and in honour of the kindness the family said was shown to them in those early years, they wanted to unveil what Geoffrey Lougheed joked was the “worst kept secret” in Sudbury.
So, after musical performances and speeches, Ward 1 Coun. Joe Cimino, who Geoffrey Lougheed credited with the idea, was called up to help unveil the “legacy gift”: the site of the former St. Albert's School, which sits kitty-corner to the Marguerite Lougheed Centre and one block away from the original Lougheed Funeral Home and Flower Shop, has been donated by the family to the city to become the Marguerite and Gerry Lougheed Community Park.
The importance of family and community was something their parents raised them to believe, both brothers said repeatedly. And what better way to honour the community and the concept of family, then to provide a forum where community and family converge, Lougheed Jr. said.
“Family is all about community and a park is a place for the community and families to gather,” he told Northern Life this week.
“It's where we all got our start 60 years ago,” Geoffrey added.
Family is all about community and a park is a place for the community and families to gather.
Gerry Lougheed Jr.,
Managing director, Lougheed Funeral Homes
Sudbury NDP MP Glenn Thibeault said there are “far too many” accomplishments to note since Gerry Sr. and Marguerite began their legacy.
“He and his wife transformed Sudbury,” Thibeault said.
The elder Gerry and Marguerite came to Sudbury from southern Ontario, near Leamington, with their $3,000 life savings, $1,700 in borrowed cash and their Buick. And a dream.
“They worked very hard, and we're going to celebrate that vision they had,” Lougheed Jr. said.
It's a vision worth praising. Rick Bartolucci, Sudbury MPP, said he is “so proud of the Lougheed legacy.”
Supporting the community, supporting local charities and going beyond the call of duty as funeral directors is just part of the job for the Lougheed family — or, as Mayor Marianne Matichuk put it, “It's what the Lougheeds do.”
When Marguerite and Gerry Lougheed moved to Sudbury in 1952, they had very little, save a dream.
Sixty years later, the funeral home and flower shop they started has been transformed into one of the city's most successful enterprises. The kindness they felt was shown to them by the community in those early years, continues to be paid back in every donation the Lougheeds make and every offer of support it extends to those who need a hand, Lougheed Jr. said.
It's all part of Lougheed's motto: People Caring For People.
The Marguerite and Gerry Lougheed Community Park on the corner of Eyre and Albert streets will open in 2013.