SAINT JOHN – As the Last Post rang out across the field, the audience fell silent. Then. there were tears and a little laughter.
A ceremony on Sunday officially named a park in Saint John in honour of Const. Douglas Larche.
Larche grew up in Saint John, and his wife Nadine said they brought their three daughters to the city often. They were planning to return in August for the Marathon by the Sea, which Larche was to run.
But Larche, along with Constables Dave Ross and Fabrice Gevaudan, was shot and killed in a tense standoff in early June.
“He wanted to help those in need, and he wanted to have a positive impact on his community,” said Nadine. “Though I think he would have been a bit uncomfortable by all of this attention, he would definitely be humbled at the thought that his hometown would honour him in such a way.”
Nadine said a park is a fitting tribute for her husband, who loved the outdoors and was very active.
“The girls and I remember daddy playing on the monkey bars, sliding down the slide, and seeing how high he could push them on the swings. A little higher than I liked!”
Larche’s parents, Dan and Beth, said they lived not far from the west side park when Doug was growing up.
“It’s an honour to Doug and an honour to us to know that we’ve raised a son that commanded such respect from all the communities he worked and lived in. It’s just an honour,” said Dan.
The park was dedicated with a monument, as well as several memorial benches. Mayor Mel Norton said he hopes the park becomes a place of reflection and remembrance for the people of Saint John.
“Dougie’s alive. Dougie’s alive,” said Beth. “People will always remember him; he’s alive in everybody’s memory. And definitely in ours.”