Beloved Maritime Mountie killed in Haiti earthquake remembered
January 12, 2015 marks the fifth anniversary of an earthquake the devastated Haiti. The disaster claimed thousands of lives, including that of a well-known and well-loved RCMP officer from the Maritimes.
At different times, Sgt. Mark Gallagher was the face and voice of the RCMP in both New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
“Mark was a special guy, kind-hearted, soft-hearted guy and so this anniversary means a lot to a lot of the members here in Nova Scotia,” says Robin Churchill of the Nova Scotia RCMP.
Gallagher was part of a United Nations mission in Haiti at the time of the quake and five years later, a school has been opened on the tiny island nation in his honour.
Ecole Mark Gallagher is teaching Haitians valued trades, such as carpentry and masonry.
The school has taken the work of many partners to bring it to fruition.
“It really is, truly, an incredible example of what good teamwork and a shared vision can accomplish,” says committee member Richard Blaquiere.
Eugene Lewis didn't know Gallagher, but has been one of the driving forces in the building of the school that bears his name.
A retired professor of electrical engineering, Lewis is proud to have helped create something that will help Haitians help themselves.
“That has changed the lives of those 120 or 140 people, instantly, they're going to be able to feed their children, they're going to be able to send them to school,” says Lewis.
While much has been done, those involved say there is still much to do to ensure the school and Mark Gallagher's name survives.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Andy Campbell