Friends and family of the late Neil Bardal are hoping to have a local park renamed in his honour.
Richard Rosin, senior funeral director at Neil Bardal Funeral Centre (3030 Notre Dame Ave.), wrote a letter to Coun. Scott Fielding (St. James-Brooklands-Weston) outlining his request to have Moray and Bruce Park renamed Neil Bardal Memorial Park, after the late Bardal.
Bardal grew up on Hearne Avenue, just a few minutes away from Moray and Bruce Park (405 Moray St.), from when he was 12 years old up until he was 28 years old.
Bardal founded Neil Bardal Inc. on June 6, 1980 with his wife Annette. He purchased Brooklawn Crematorium, across from Brooklawn Cemetery, in 1982. In 2008, he expanded the building to include a great room for services and receptions, making the transition into a full-service funeral company called the Neil Bardal Funeral Centre.
In addition to operating a funeral home, Bardal was recognized for many other accomplishments, including receiving the Order of the Falcon from the Government of Iceland in 2000 as well as the Order of Manitoba in 2006.
Bardal was a prominent figure in the funeral industry. His family has arranged burials in Winnipeg for more than a century, and Bardal advocated for cremation as an alternative method of putting the dead to rest.
Bardal died on Feb. 13, 2010.
Rosin and Neil Bardal’s son, Eirik — the funeral centre’s general manager — are expected to attend next month’s Assiniboia Community Committee meeting on April 8 to make a presentation, explaining why they want the park’s name changed, to Fielding, Coun. Paula Havixbeck (Charleswood-Tuxedo), and Coun. Grant Nordman (St. Charles).
Eirik said he remembered his former school principal had a park named in her memory, so he wanted to do the same for his dad.
"We were thinking about a park in the Silver Heights area where he grew up, where our church is (St. Stephen’s & St. Bede’s Church), and where my grandparents lived," Eirik said. "We thought of Moray and Bruce Park, so we got a hold of Scott. He thought it would be very doable."
"For the most part, I think it’s a fabulous idea," Fielding said.
Right now, Rosin and Eirik are working on their presentation for the meeting.
"We’re just putting together a lot of the reasons (for the name change)," Eirik said. "His affiliation with the church, his growing up there."
The Assiniboia Community Committee meeting will take place on April 8 at 4:30 p.m. at City Hall (510 Main St.)
For more information about the Neil Bardal Funeral Centre, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 204-949-2200.