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Local group nearing their goal for a Bill Lishman memorial structure

DAN CEARNS The Standard

SCUGOG: A group raising funds for a statue to honour the life of Bill Lishman is getting close to reaching their target.

At a meeting on Monday, October 16th, Dr. Bill Eull and Doug Moffat from the Bill Lishman Memorial Group provided councillors with an update on their endeavor.

“As a fundraising process, we had a target of $150,000 to raise to create a structure by Bill Lishman’s son Geordie Lishman, [who’s] also a fine artist, particularly working in metal. On that target of $150,000, we’re at $105,000, and we’re currently in negotiations with another major donor for a number to be established as this process goes on,” Dr. Eull said.

Dr. Eull also noted the group is currently looking to get a heritage grant for the project.

“We are very close to being there and ready to turn over a lovely piece of architecture to you, the township, and so we can all enjoy this process of remembering Bill,” he stated.

In a letter to Scugog council dated September 9th, the group wrote they only needed to fundraise about $35,000 more for the project.

Once completed, the statue would be installed in a space between the Scugog Memorial Public Library and the Port Perry waterfront.

Mr. Moffat said he feels this structure “will be a significant waterfront feature, which will, in many cases, attract more people to Scugog, and to Port Perry.”

Dr. Eull described what the sculpture will look like.

“It’s a 23-foot structure. It’s based on a beautiful curve reaching up to a spot. This is all in stainless steel with some bronze facing on both sides. At the top is an ultralight [plane which] Bill of course is flying, and the geese are around him. That is the iconic Bill Lishman picture, isn’t it.”

He added there will be etchings in the bronze to honour Mr. Lishman’s accomplishments and journey.

The Memorial group is looking for the Township to help fund the foundation for the project. A motion was approved at the meeting to refer the request to Township staff to explore the possibility.

Bill Lishman was known in Scugog as ‘Father Goose’ for his work using an ultralight plane to help geese migrate. He was also a well known artist in the area.

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