Putting Mundare on the Map

Posted: February 28, 2017 Category: Media Releases, Our Team, Vendor,

Charlie Gargus knows from experience how much work and planning it took putting Mundare on the map. Arriving in Mundare in 1971 to start a career as a science teacher, Gargus joined the local curling club and met Edward E. Stawnichy and Henry Moroziuk. He didn’t know it at the time, but all three of them would eventually take up the honourable position of Mayor of Mundare. Gargus, who is the current Mayor, has seen tremendous change in the Town of Mundare over the decades, and mostly because of Ed the visionary.

“He saw what needed to happen to bring people back to Mundare. Ed knew making a positive change here meant attacking it with a ‘go big or go home’ mentality. He helped revitalize the town to double its size, and make it a place that continues to grow.”Charlie Gargus

Gargus explains that it was difficult to get Mundare on the map in the 1970s because banks were not giving loans to small town Alberta. To counter this, Ed made things happen through fundraising. He knew that if you got people involved, it would empower them to take ownership of the town as their own. Gargus says it was the beginning of new ground for Mundare as they focused on cleaning up the area, removing older buildings, building a new firehall, and fundraising for new repairs to the Mundare Recreation Centre (MRC). Through hard work and determination, and a lot of perogy-making for fundraising, plus help from Ed finding a matching grant from the government, they raised enough money to fix the MRC. They replaced the roof, added wheelchair access, and even updated exit signs.

The town was also able to develop a strong fire department and its proud members are passionate about protecting their community. Gargus also points out that when Ed was building an auxiliary building for the the meat processing facility in Mundare, he even made sure that the water and sewer was installed further down the avenue so the firehall could be built at its present location.

When asked just exactly how Ed made all of this happen, Gargus stops to think for a second, and then explains that it’s because Ed was relentless in making sure it happened. He explains that Ed never said much, but when he did, you knew it was clear that he had the community in mind and at heart. Ed always said that we had to show that there was strength in this community, because if we did, others would follow. And he was right, because by building business in the community, he showed his confidence that Mundare would grow, and soon after, new houses were developed and the population increased.

“Eds’ vision was to make Mundare a destination spot for travellers, and to this day, people drive from all over the province just to stop here,” states Gargus. “We have attractions such as the Basilian Fathers Museum, Whitetail Crossing golf course, and of course, the giant sausage that so many tourists stop to see. He really did help put us on the map.”

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