OTTAWA – Barrhaven will now have a park named ‘Gus Este Park‘ to commemorate the Year of the Korean War Veteran and honour a local hero.
City Council approved Deputy Mayor Steve Desroches’ Motion at its meeting on June 26th recommending that the City honour the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War by naming the City park on Brookstone Street in Barrhaven ‘Gus Este Park’ after life-long community volunteer and Korean War veteran Gus Este.
“This year marks an important milestone in Canadian history, serving as the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War, and the 50th Anniversary of Canada’s Diplomatic Relations with the Republic of Korea,” said Deputy Mayor Desroches. “I am very pleased that City Council has approved my Motion to commemorate these significant milestones by honouring one of Barrhaven’s most active and well-known community members and veterans.”
Originally from St. Hubert, Quebec, Gus Este joined the Canadian Army Special Force, raised for the United Nations operations in Korea, in 1950. After serving 13 months in Korea as a medic, Mr. Este returned home to work as a civil servant for three years, before re-enlisting into the Canadian Postal Corps. Throughout his 33 years of military service, Mr. Este rose through the ranks and travelled across the entire Middle East region, participating in tours to Germany, Egypt, and Cyprus, among others.
Through the ‘Heroes Remember’ initiative on Veterans Affairs Canada’s website, Mr. Este has shared his story with Canadians across the country to help shed light on his experiences as a young, African-Canadian in the military. “There’s very little knowledge in Canada about Blacks in the Canadian Military and I think that’s got to be exposed rather than hidden, because it started early, a long time before me,” Este says in the interview. His full interview can be found online at http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/collections/hrp/hrp_detail/4320.
Since his retirement in 1987, Mr. Este has devoted his time to volunteering with national and local organizations, serving as: District Governor of Lions Clubs International; a member of the Nepean Public Library Board, the Mayor of Nepean’s Task Force on Visible Minorities, the Ontario Lung Association, and the Head Injury Association; and former President of Branch 641 of the Royal Canadian Legion.
As a part of the commemorative naming, Veterans Affairs Canada has agreed to have the logo for the 60th Anniversary of the Korean War included on the park’s sign. This sign will be officially unveiled at a special ceremony at the park on July 19th, 2013, at 1:00 p.m.
The park is located at 26 Brookstone Street in Barrhaven (http://goo.gl/maps/ncLM3).