The clouds were looming, slowly approaching Lacombe and the paved pathway passing through the research station grounds.
It’s here where those who walk the Trans Canada Trail sometimes choose to rest. It’s also here where a new memorial bench was unveiled last Friday afternoon.
The bench was placed along the trail in honour of longtime Lacombe Lions Club member Roy Cucheran. Cucheran passed away in 2010.
Cucheran’s family, including his four children and grandchildren, along with wife Hannah, were on hand with Lacombe Lions Club members to unveil the very special bench.
“Roy was a very active Lions member who joined the club in 1989,” said Lacombe Lions Club President Sharon Reiter during the small ceremony. “He served as president of the Lacombe Lions Club three times — in 1993, 1997 and 2003. During most of the years that he wasn’t president, he was on the board of directors of the Club.”
During his time with the Lions Club, Roy assisted in operating the concession for summer events like Lacombe Days and the Tees Rodeo. The Lions Club also sponsored the construction of the concession stand at Michener Park.
“For these events, Roy volunteered to look after picking up and delivering food and beverage items,” said Reiter. “Of course, as soon as Roy would leave on a grocery run, we would get low or run out of something he didn’t have on his list. Then, to Roy’s dismay, when he returned with the groceries, someone would give him the new list of stuff we needed. After quite a bit of grumbling, Roy would head off on another grocery shopping mission.”
Roy was also involved with the Lions Club at the district level, serving as a zone chair several times and attending conventions. Roy was also an active Lacombe Legion member.
“Our Lions Club has dinner meetings and members take turns cooking and bringing food for these meetings,” explained Reiter. “Roy’s specialty was fried chicken, which members of the Club still talk about.”
Out of all the Lions Club projects, Roy’s favourite was the Lions Foundation of Canada’s dog guides program.
“Dog guides trains dogs to work with blind people, those with hearing problems, people with autism and other conditions,” said Reiter. “The foundation then matches each dog with a disabled person and provides extensive training for the matched person and the dog. Having a service dog is a life-changing experience for the disabled person.
“So, we are here today to honour Lion Roy by dedicating this bench in his memory,” said Reiter.
And with that, Reiter and Hannah cut the ribbon on the stone bench. Family members took turns sitting on the bench, all with the hope that the ‘place to rest’ will bring tribute to Roy and enjoyment to those who stop to sit on the bench.
The memorial bench is located along the Trans Canada Trail, on the south end of the Research Station grounds.