• Following an initial proposal from the Stouffville Legion last September, the town’s cenotaph is finally being returned to Memorial Park.
  • The Legion has long desired the move and transfer of responsibility for the cenotaph to the Town.
  • It is seen as an ideal opportunity to best commemorate past and future service members with a robust new memorial space.
  • The decision also ensures the cenotaph’s security should anything force the Legion to relocate from their Mostar location.
  • Their original proposal sought the use of the North Pavilion location, recently approved by Council.
  • This site, which sits within the Town’s original Memorial Park, has housed various memorial elements throughout its history.
  • While supportive of accepting a decommissioned tank for public display, the Legion did not make the initial request.


Bullet Point News recently spoke with Murray Pattenden, the Legion’s Immediate Past President who presented the original idea of returning the town’s cenotaph to Memorial Park. He noted the Legion’s longstanding support of the Town assuming the cenotaph, as the decision ensures it is maintained and protected should anything force the Legion to close their Mostar location where the cenotaph is located.

He emphasized the importance of the North Pavilion site, which is just south of the Stouffville Lawn Bowling Club. “The whole reason for us proposing the cenotaph to be around this area is that it is the original Memorial Park, and that’s where the original cenotaph was,” Pattenden explained.

“The cenotaph promotes the remembrance of what has brought us peace and why Canada is the way we are now,” he told us. “People fought for our freedom, people fight for our freedom…We want to honour veterans of the past, and we’re going to have to honour veterans of the future.”

Hopes are high for incorporating Stouffville’s other memorial elements into the future space. Pattenden mentioned the commemorative pillars on Church Street South as an example, and he wishes to see them not just included but also restored.

Pattenden clarified that the Legion did not propose adding a decommissioned tank to the plans, nor did they favour the initially approved Park and Booth Drives location which would have required dismantling the Stouffville Horticultural Society’s garden. However, when the Town suggested the tank’s inclusion, they embraced the idea.

“We support our veterans. We’re not pro-war, we’re for peace and for the peacekeepers,” Pattenden explained. “For the tank to be part of the cenotaph and memorial, that would have been great. The tank is not an item of threat, it represents what has provided security and peace for so many people around the world.”

With that in mind, Pattenden incorporated the tank into his September 2023 presentation.

Now that the tank is headed to the Whitchurch Stouffville Museum, Pattenden believes it will still contribute to the Legion’s commemorative goals. “Many local servicemen came from Whitchurch, so having the tank at the Museum is both educational and a reflection of those who served from that area.”

Proper programming around the tank will be essential for Pattenden. Beyond being a static object, he hopes to see promotion and recognition as to why it’s there. He and the Legion look forward to being involved in planning for the Memorial Park and Museum sites and how they can be best engaged by the community.

“Let’s create something special at both locations,” Pettenden concluded. “Let’s create something great.”