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Windsor council considering displaying donated decommissioned tank in public space

Pictured is a Leopard 2A4 Tank, similar to the one being considered for display at Victoria Park by Windsor Town Council.
Pictured is a Leopard 2A4 Tank, similar to the one being considered for display at Victoria Park by Windsor Town Council.

WINDSOR, N.S. — It’s that classic question: where do you put a donated tank?

Windsor Mayor Anna Allen said she had been asked by a resident, who has access via a family member in the Canadian Armed Forces, if the town would like a tank.

During the Windsor town council on Sept. 26, Allen joked, saying, “I’ve never been offered a tank before.”

Allen said the tank in question is decommissioned, doesn’t drive and doesn’t have any live ammunition.

Chief administrative officer Louis Coutinho said that the town would need to give a formal request for the vehicle via a letter before proceeding any further.

“It doesn’t hurt for us to ask if we can have the tank,” Coutinho said.

Deputy Mayor Laurie Murley asked what the cost would be to display the tank.

Allen said a concrete pad would need to be installed.

“They will deliver it, and land it on that pad at no charge,” Allen said.

“I’m assuming they’re divesting in some of their equipment,” she continued.

“The suggestion was that it would go in Victoria Park, on the other end by the intersection,” she said. “That is a park that is donated by the legion, and the legion monument is there and it would be great to tie it in with that.”

Symbolism questioned

Allen said she was excited about the idea of bringing the tank to town, but other members of council expressed some caution.

Coun. Jim Ivey said he had concerns that the vehicle would be a problematic symbol for the town.

“It’s functional purpose is a weapon of war,” Ivey said. “I ask if the symbolism of something like that is something we want to have?”

Ivey said he respects the strong military history of the town and the veterans, but questioned if a tank would be an appropriate display.

Murley said she agreed with Ivey, adding that it doesn’t offend her personally, but it could offend others.

Coun. Shelley Bibby said she doesn’t think Victoria Park would be the right location for a tank.

“I would like to see it at Fort Edward,” Bibby said.

“Is that tying in with history?” Allen asked.

“It’s not, but what significance does it have with Victoria Park?” Bibby asked in reply.

Allen reemphasized that the park was donated by the Royal Canadian Legion and is a war memorial.

“If you go around town, there’s some hockey cutouts here, in other places there’s pumpkins, the street signs aren’t consistent,” Bibby said. “Throwing another piece that is not consistent with the message we’re trying to present from our town, and (Victoria Park) is a very prominent spot, once it’s there, it’s not going to move.”

Allen suggested asking members of the Royal Canadian Legion Hants County Branch 09 for their views on having a tank in town.

Council agreed to send correspondence to the legion for their view on the matter before proceeding.

The Valley Journal-Advertiser has also reached out to the Royal Canadian Legion's Windsor branch.

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