City park has a new name

Members of the Lalonde family Friday, May 20, 2016 shortly after opening a gift from the city during a park dedication ceremony. Pictured are Vicki Lalonde, Merita Lalonde, Todd Lalonde and Perry Lalonde. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

CORNWALL – Members of the Lalonde family as well as local students and dignitaries took the wraps off a new park sign – Ray Lalonde Memorial Park.

What was known as Blossom Park on Blossom Park Drive is now named after the former alderman for the City of Cornwall, who died in 2011.

Lalonde was known for being a champion for disabled people. He was a co-founder of the local chapter of the Multiple Sclerosis Society.

“We want to thank you folks (city officials) for allowing this to happen and, again, I echo council for basically supporting this venture. It’s going to be a great memento for the family as well as the community,” said his son, Todd Lalonde.

“My dad had always made an impact on us was to give back to the community. When I look at the kids in behind me (students from Marie-Tanguay elementary school) today is a perfect example of what a park’s all about,” Lalonde said.

Members of the Lalonde family open a gift from the city Friday, May 20, 2016 during the dedication of a Glenview Heights park as Ray Lalonde Memorial Park. Vicki Lalonde, Merita Lalonde and Todd Lalonde receive a keepsake sign. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)
Members of the Lalonde family open a gift from the city Friday, May 20, 2016 during the dedication of a Glenview Heights park as Ray Lalonde Memorial Park. Vicki Lalonde, Merita Lalonde and Todd Lalonde receive a keepsake sign. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston)

“This is a perfect example of what Ray worked for in recreation,” Coun. Andre Rivette added during the ceremony Friday afternoon. Rivette was the councillor who proposed the park renaming which received resounding support from council.

“He’s probably looking down and saying ‘Great job, guys’,” Rivette said.

Coun. Denis Carr reflected on a few whimsical moments from Lalonde’s past, saying he was a great whistler and was good with impressions. “It’s a fitting tribune to a great guy,” Carr said.

Members of the Lalonde family were presented with a small keepsake of the Ray Lalonde Memorial Park sign.

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