A veteran who is attempting to raise funds to commission a new mural of decorated war hero Sgt. Tommy Prince says he’s not ready to wave the white flag just yet.

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This article was published 10/11/2010 (4088 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

A veteran who is attempting to raise funds to commission a new mural of decorated war hero Sgt. Tommy Prince says he’s not ready to wave the white flag just yet.


Donald Mackey, chair of the Tommy Prince Memorial Fund, had hoped to raise $5,000 for the project.

Veteran Donald Mackey, chair of the Sgt. Tommy Prince Memorial Fund, is hoping money comes in to help restore a mural dedicated to Tommy Prince along Selkirk Ave. The mural has been damaged due to vandalism and weather conditions. (Above) Mackey holds a copy of the proposed new mural.

ROB BROWN

Veteran Donald Mackey, chair of the Sgt. Tommy Prince Memorial Fund, is hoping money comes in to help restore a mural dedicated to Tommy Prince along Selkirk Ave. The mural has been damaged due to vandalism and weather conditions. (Above) Mackey holds a copy of the proposed new mural.


His fundraising efforts haven’t been as successful as he had hoped. To date, only $2,000 have been raised for the mural project.


"We had hoped to have completed fundraised by September of this year," Mackey, 78,  said last week. "We’ve still got some fundraising to go."


An existing mural of Prince, who lived in the North End, is located near the corner of Selkirk Avenue and Sgt. Tommy Prince Street.


It has been the target of repeated vandalism over the years. Mackey said Prince’s face has been splashed with black paint several times, including at least once on Remembrance Day.


"It’s disgraceful," he said.


Mackey, who also lives in the North End, said he has wanted to help sustain the memory of Prince, who died in November 1977, after watching a documentary on him. The film focused on how Prince ending up as an alcoholic living at the Salvation Army prior to his death.


"I had to do something positive. The film didn’t concentrate on his war record," Mackey said.


During his military service, Prince was awarded 12 medals, including the Military Medal and Silver Star, medals for bravery and courageous exploits during the Second World War. Prince re-enlisted in the 1950s to serve in the Korean War.


"People don’t realize he wasn’t a peace-time soldier. He served during war-time," he said.


Mackey first met Prince in 1953 when they were both stationed in Winnipeg.


"I served with him in Fort Osborne Barracks. We were both sergeants while he was awaiting release from the army," he said.


Mackey founded the Tommy Prince Royal Army Cadet Cadet Corps, located at 200 Isabel St., for inner city youth in October 1999. He was also instrumental in Tommy Prince’s Veterans Park being established in 2007.  


Mackey said his primary concern is finding funding for the new mural.


"Graffiti Gallery will be helping us out and aboriginal artist Fred Thomas will be doing the work," he said, adding the new mural will be painted on six four-foot by eight-foot panels.


Anyone wishing to contribute to the Tommy Prince mural project can make their cheques payable to The Manitoba Indigenous Cultural Education Centre 119 Sutherland Ave., Winnipeg, MB. R2W 3G9

rob.brown@canstarnews.com