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 last year.

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 Commendation.
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.

Related links:
To the memory of Mark Léger

Nations of SFOR: Canada
CIMIC

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Photo: Photo: Master Cpl. Roxanne Clowe

Mrs Marley Léger, Commanding Officer of the Second Battalion Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry Battle Group, Lieutenant Colonel Mike Day, and the Canadian Task Force Commander, Colonel Greg Gillespie, during the playing of O Canada.


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Photo: Photo: Master Cpl. Roxanne Clowe

Mrs. Marley Léger along with community leader, Mr. Milo Vujanovic and Mr. Petar Vujanovic unveil a plaque at the opening of a community centre dedicated to the memory of Sergeant Marc Léger.


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Photo: Photo: Sgt. Carole Morissette

Mrs. Marley Léger meets with some of the local citizens who still remember Sgt. Léger fondly.


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Photo: Photo: Sgt. Carole Morissette

Sgt. Léger provided support and leadership in the area three years ago. He died in Afghanistan on Apr. 17, 2002.