--Two Aylmer parks renamed after community contributors Donald Dupel and Léo David
Posthumously honouring two community builders from Aylmer, the city of Gatineau renamed a couple of local parks to commemorate their legacies. On October 21, Gatineau’s Executive committee approved to rename Parc Carcajou and Parc de la Spartan after the late Donald Dupel (1935-2013) and Léo David (1929-2018) – recognizing them for their contributions to the community.
An Aylmer councillor from 1995 to 2001, Dupel served as an educational police officer in local schools for more than 30 years, and in the Canadian military with the Royal 22nd Regiment. Among other accomplishments, he founded Aylmer’s chapter of Block Parent, won the Citizen of the Year award, and received Queen Elizabeth II’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2012. He was also a contributor to the Aylmer Knights of Columbus, the Club Optimiste, Kiwanis Club, and the Lions Club.
His son Robert Dupel said his family was thrilled to see his father’s work recognized, notably for his impact on schools during his career as a policeman. Noting that his father played an important role in benefiting local youth and senior populations, Robert felt that to rename a park after him was a fitting gesture.
Serving the community for more than 60 years, David was a founding member of the Club Optimiste Aylmer and Interclub Aylmer, as well as a Citizen of the Year award recipient in 1994. David was also a member of numerous community organizations, including the Knights of Columbus for more than 50 years, at L’Amicale Brébeuf, and the Club Civitan. He was also involved in many local events and activities, such as the Aylmer Western Festival, Marche-t-ons et Concours oratoires, and the Fleurs de Macadam.
Putting a bow on his father’s legacy, his son Alain David, said the honour meant a whole lot for the entire family. Promoting the city to commemorate his father since he passed away – by renaming either a street of a municipal facility – Alain was equally thrilled to see a park named after his father. “I found it extraordinary,” Alain said. “It will be fun for the family to gather when the park is built … It’s above my expectations.” Stating that many street, buildings and park names in the city hold minimal relevance to locals, Alain believes it’s important for the city to recognize its leaders and pillars in the community for future generations to remember them.
Lucerne district councillor Gilles Chagnon believes the city should host an official unveiling of Parc Carcajou’s new name featured on a sign in the spring – noting that he will make it happen if no one else does. Having known both honourees personally, Chagnon praised their outstanding devotion to the community.
Supported by Chagnon, Aylmer district councillor Audrey Bureau said she’s on a mission to highlight Aylmer’s history and people who helped establish it by taking all opportunities to rename local parks, streets and buildings after them. “I invite all residents who want to understand or get information on how to commemorate a loved one to contact me,” Bureau said. “I am fully disposed to help citizens through that process.”
Noting that the new park should be built by next spring, Bureau expects the city to host a formal celebration on-site to commemorate its opening, as well as David’s community involvement.