A GoFundMe campaign launched March 7 to gather the public’s donations for a ‘Flying Phil” memorial.
The City of Parksville recently approved in principle accommodating a permanent memorial statue of Phil St. Luke — if the public raises the money, according to a news release.
A starting goal of $80,000 has been set to purchase a life-sized bronze statue, a project that was originally petitioned for in 2017 but did not get City Council support at that time.
Phil was a well-loved character in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area for his friendly waves and giant smile. He was also an accomplished Special Olympics athlete and prolific volunteer.
St. Luke passed away from cancer this past January at the age of 70.
In 2008, his birthday, March 7, was declared “Flying Phil Day” by the City.
City Councillor Adam Fras, who put the project back before council, says, “rarely has an individual evoked so much joy in the community simply from having their presence and positivity on display, and with a statue, that impact will be able to live on”.
The details of the project will be decided in coordination with an advisory committee, the public, and the St. Luke family.
Any surplus funds raised will be donated in St. Luke’s memory to charities he was involved with such as the Special Olympics, SPCA, Society of Organized Services and the Parksville Food drive.
The GoFundMe account is titled “Flying Phil” St. Luke Official Memorial Fund.
— NEWS Staff, submitted