Railway Hall of Fame Pavilion Official Opening
Big Valley, AB - Speech by Paul Clark, VP Communications & Public Affairs, CPR
Deputy Premier McClellan; Mayor Cliff Stuber, Shawn, Les, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls.
On behalf of Fred Green, CPR's President and CEO, the executive committee and our 15,000 employees across North America, I am pleased to be here to participate in this important event. Thank you for extending an invitation to our company.
This year is Canadian Pacific Railway's 125th anniversary of incorporation and it is only appropriate that we are here today for the official opening of the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame Pavilion that commemorates the accomplishments of the leaders and builders in Canada's storied rail industry.
CPR people are remembering this year the foresight, diligence and ingenuity of those who came before us, those men, supported by their often-distant families, who believed in the dream of uniting our country.
Imagine building a railway west, a country so open, beautiful yet daunting, where every day was a new adventure, where every mile of rail had the potential of being the starting point for new communities, new dreams and the new West. How many of us would have been willing to take up this challenge?
When the last spike was driven in Craigellachie in 1885, it was a tribute to thousands of people who contributed to the construction of Canada's transcontinental railway. For without their courage, and in some cases sacrifice, we might not have the Canada we enjoy today.
Similarly without the vision of the people behind the Railway Hall of Fame, there would be many Canadians and visitors to our country that would not see the deep connection between Canadians and the rail industry where many families can quickly point to a family member who worked for a railway.
That connection continues today as freight rail transportation once again is a growth industry, reinforcing its rightful role in the economic development and prosperity of our country. Canada is privileged to have two outstanding national railways that have demonstrated to North Americans that Canadians are leaders in rail operations.
I would ask all of us here today to ensure that in celebrating the past we also keep an eye on the future. We are an ongoing success story that should be recognized as much for the past as for our current operations and future success. The rail industry is alive, vibrant and in need of champions in every community across this country.
The Railway Hall of Fame is playing an important role in doing that and we salute and congratulate all of its organizers and supporters and wish you every success in the future.