It was a historic day in Lethbridge on Friday, both for the city and especially for one particular family, as a monument was reinstalled at Mountain View Cemetery.
The Immortal Flame dates back to Dec. 27, 1966 as a symbol of the city’s military history and was a Diamond Jubilee project celebrating the 60th year of Lethbridge as a city.
“Lethbridge and southern Alberta have a strong association with the military starting in the early 1900s for the Boer War,” military historian Glenn Miller said. “That’s when we first sent people off as a community.”
The flame was created as a joint partnership of the General Stewart Branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, the Lethbridge army, navy and air force veterans and the City of Lethbridge.
Fifty-one years ago Jim Mulock – now president of Lethbridge Monumental – made his mark on history during the original installation.
“When I was 15 years old, my father owned the company and we put the first Immortal Flame in here,” he said. “I had the job of digging the foundation by hand.”
Since then, the monument has deteriorated to the point where it needed a major face lift.
“Over the years, it would come apart and we would be hired by the city to come and fix it,” Mulock said. “We did that for a number of years but after a while, it just got to the point where they figured it would be best to replace it.”
Just like all those years ago, Mulock recreated the past, standing in the same spot installing a new monument.
“It makes you feel old but I was proud we did the first one,” he said. “Now I’m even more proud I did the second one by ourselves.”
With plans to retire next year, his son Jim was by his side sharing in yet another significant milestone.
Mulock’s grandchildren even got to make their mark on history, placing quarters with poppies on them underneath the new monument’s foundation.
It’s a symbol that will live under the monument, passing on the torch of remembrance to future generations.
While the foundation has been laid, the torch still needs to be installed. Once that’s done, there will be a re-dedication ceremony and the flame with continue to burn for years to come.