In Honour of their Fallen Comrade
Capt. Cat Haylock
First published May 23, 2003
A ceremony attended by local residents, dignitaries and
soldiers from the Canadian Battle Group was held on 10 May
to mark the official opening of the Livno Valley Community
Centre. Mrs. Marley Léger came to Bosnia and Herzegovina
to be on hand to open the community centre in memory of her
husband Sgt. Marc Léger, who was killed in Afghanistan
Livno - "My heart is full," said Mrs. Léger
during her two day visit to the area, at times overwhelmed
by the emotional welcome the residents gave her, with three-year-old
memories of her husband still strong in their minds.
A tribute to a man who gave so much
The restoration of the Livno Valley Community Centre was the
single greatest wish of the local citizens, and will serve
as a social-cultural centre, a multi-purpose hall, a medical
treatment centre, an administrative centre, and a tribute
to the man who gave so much to the people of this region.
"The unique contribution Léger made to the people
of the Livno Valley, to the Canadian Forces, to Canadians
and to his family is represented in this community centre,
truly continuing a legacy of helping a nation to rebuild,
one community at a time," said Col. Greg Gillespie, Commander
for Task Force Bosnia and Herzegovina.
In 2000, (then) Master Cpl. Léger performed various
civil-military co-operation (CIMIC) tasks in the Livno Valley
south of Glamoc, allowing local population to return to their
war-damaged homes in Silene, Radanovici, Vrbica and Bojmunte
and to re-establish their lives.
Fondly known as 'King Marko' by those that he helped, Léger
developed a strong bond with these people and led efforts
to winterise and repair their homes. He also led them to choose
community leaders so that they could work collectively with
the International Community. His extraordinary efforts were
recognised, and he was awarded a Deputy Chief of Defence Staff
Following the death of Sergeant Léger on Apr. 17, 2002
in Afghanistan, his widow made it widely known that she wished
to continue her husband's legacy by doing something constructive
and positive for the people of the Livno Valley.
In support Mrs. Léger's idea, Canadian soldiers serving
on Rotation 11 (Oct. 02 until March 03) began co-ordinating
a project to restore the town's community centre. The project
was subsequently transferred over to the 2 PPCLI Battle Group
when they arrived in BiH on Rotation 12.
Mrs. Léger was able to raise just under € 20,
000 with funds raised from the Marc Léger Memorial
Fund in Canada. The remaining balance was made up by the Second
Battalion, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry community
improvement project budget, approved by the Canadian International
Development Agency (CIDA). The project cost was approximately
€ 30, 000.
To the memory of Mark Léger
Nations of SFOR: Canada