Terry Fox Run participants who passed by Hyde Creek Recreation Centre in Port Coquitlam this weekend received some extra moral support in the form of a newly installed statue of the hometown hero.
The Terry Fox sculpture that formerly stood at Wilson Avenue and Mary Hill Road was moved to the popular pool and rec centre after two years in storage.
It was installed last Friday on a new granite base near the flagpole at Hyde Creek Recreation Centre, which has hosted the annual Terry Fox Hometown Run since 1985. The statue’s placement in its permanent home took place just in time for the virtual Terry Fox Hometown Run on Sunday (Sept. 19).
“We’ve been working closely with the Fox family and believe this is a fitting home for this iconic statue honouring our hometown hero,” Mayor Brad West said in a press release.
“For more than 35 years, people have come together at Hyde Creek each September to keep Terry Fox’s legacy alive. Terry always encouraged others to do their best, and now his statue can inspire everyone who takes part in our annual hometown run to raise funds and awareness in his name — beginning with this year’s safe virtual event.”
The statue had to be removed from its previous location to make way for the construction of the Port Coquitlam Community Centre (PCCC).
It was removed in September 2019 by a company specializing in moving fine art and placed in secure storage.
The statue was carved and donated to Port Coquitlam by B.C. artist George Pratt, an accomplished stone carver currently living on the Sunshine Coast, and installed at the former Terry Fox Library at its opening in August 1983.
The statue’s installation at Hyde Creek adds to the other recognition for Terry Fox in Port Coquitlam, including Terry Fox Secondary, Terry Fox Library and the annual Terry Fox Hometown Run typically attended by thousands.
“Finding a permanent home for the sculpture was just the first step in our plans to honour Terry Fox in his hometown,” West said.
He added that there will be more efforts to commemorate Fox and they will be revealed on Oct. 2 at the grand opening of the Port Coquitlam Community Centre.
“I encourage everyone to join us that afternoon to learn about how we’ll be commemorating this great Canadian hero, role model and source of pride in our community,” West further stated.