THUNDER BAY - A familiar park on the city’s north side popular with fisherman and families alike, has been renamed after a familiar angler and public servant.
In a ceremony on Saturday, Fisherman’s Park was officially renamed the Lorne Allard Fisherman’s Park in memory of the long-serving city councilor.
“He never gave up on doing work in the community,” said Lorne’s son, Brent. “It was just kind of one of those things, he always wanted to do something down here. He created a better environment and as you can see, a beautiful park. I’m sure he was very proud when it happened.”
Lorne Allard was first elected to Thunder Bay city council representing the Red River ward in 1992 and he would serve the public for nine years. During that time, he was instrumental in bringing many recreational facilities to the community, including Castle Green, George Burke Park, Kinsmen Northwood Park, the Lakehead Canoe Club, and Fisherman’s Park.
An avid angler and dedicated public servant, Allard was involved in many organizations and projects and was always giving back to the community, especially youth.
“Lorne was a giver,” said Frank Brown, member of the Kinsmen Club. “He coached baseball, hockey, anything he could get his hands on, he was coaching. Many kids here learned how to play hockey or baseball or just learn how to be a good kid. He especially liked to teach them how to fish. He loved fishing. It didn’t matter if it was steelhead or what, as long as it had fins, he was after it.”
Allard passed away in January 2016 at the age of 83. Members of his family, including his children and wife, Jean, were at the park to witness the unveiling of the new sign with his name.
“This was Lorne’s last project and so it’s not only fitting that it was his last project, but probably one of the most important ones he did,” Brown said. “I think it’s a credit to him today that we are able to come out and have fun in this park.”
“We are very proud of our father,” Brent added. “Lorne has been doing a lot of things in our community for many years. He never looked for reward. He did it from the heart. He loved his community and this is a super honour for Lorne. It’s unfortunate he is not here, but he would definitely be very proud.”