Manmeet Singh Bhullar Park a lasting legacy for dedicated politician

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Manmeet Singh Bhullar Park a lasting legacy for dedicated politician
WATCH: It's been years in the making: the planning, designing and construction a five-hectare park bearing the name of a respected MLA is about to be unveiled. On Saturday, the ‘Manmeet Singh Bhullar Park’ will be officially opened to the public. Jill Croteau reports – Oct 19, 2018

A five-hectare green space in the Calgary community of Taradale has been transformed. On Saturday, it will be unveiled to the public.

The park bears the name of the late Manmeet Singh Bhullar. His wife, Namrita Rattan, has been working with the Parks Foundation to make it a reality.

Plaque on bench at Manmeet Singh Bhullar Park. Jill Croteau

“I think it’s surreal. It started off with a vision and to see it come to life, it’s truly humbling,” Rattan said.

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Manmeet Singh Bhullar Park. Jill Croteau, Global News

Each creation within the northeast park, which borders the Rotary/Mattamy Greenway, is very intentional. There are five giant steel archways that lead to a plaza.

“The metal archways symbolize Manmeet. They are larger than life and he was larger than life,” Rattan said. “He was a strong person, not rigid, always bent and the full circle symbolizes life and his personality and his strength.”

Within the park there are also unique harvest tables, built for up to 20 people. CEO of the Parks Foundation Sheila Taylor said that idea came from early conversations with the Bhullar family.

“They embody the spirit of Manmeet, who was known for bringing people together,” Taylor said.

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It’s been almost three years since Bhullar lost his life in one final act of kindness. He was on the side of the QEII, helping a stranded motorist in a snow storm, when he was hit by an out-of-control semi-truck.

“Life on Nov. 23 forever changed and it’s continually changing. That’s what grief is, it doesn’t stand still. Some days are hard, some are great and you start to see the sun again,” Rattan said.

His widow is comforted by the memorial park. The plaza at the end of the walkway has character traits of her late husband etched on the walls. There are inspiring quotes and photographic memories of him.

Memorial wall in the plaza at the park. Jill Croteau

“I feel so blessed he chose me as a partner and the time we got together, even though it was short, it will never feel enough. But we got to have these memories and I will forever be grateful,” Rattan said.

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The park officially opens to the public with a celebratory ceremony on Saturday at 2 pm.

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