Char Murray, Executive Director and Curator of the Cranbrook History Centre, on Tuesday presented Riley Wilcox of the Cranbrook & District Community Foundation a cheque for $10,000 to start the Cranbrook History Centre Endowment Fund.
The $10,000 came out a a $47,000 bequest left to the Cranbrook History Centre by the late Walter Komar, who worked as a Canadian Pacific Railway locomotive engineer until he retired.
Komar was born in Brandon, Manitoba, in 1929, and passed away in Cranbrook on Dec. 9, 2013, at the age of 84. He would often say that the best times at the railroad were the days of the steam engines.
A framed commemorative picture has been placed in the Royal Alexandra Hall entrance to honour Walter’s memory and donation.
The Cranbrook Archives, Museums and Landmarks Foundation (CAMAL) received the $47,000 donation in 2015 from Komar’s estate. The majority of the gift is being used to leverage grant funding for much needed projects, such as the new Freight Shed Roof and the future Paleontology Gallery and Research Lab.
The $10,000 has gone towards the establishment of the Cranbrook History Centre Endowment Fund, to be managed by the Cranbrook and District Community Foundation.
“The CAMAL Foundation would like to extend our gratitude to the estate of Walter Komar for fulfilling his bequest wishes of a donation to the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel,” said Char Murray, Executive Director and Curator of the Cranbrook History Centre. “We are honoured to be a part of Mr. Komar’s legacy, and will work hard to ensure his gift will have a positive impact on the lives of Cranbrook residents and visitors to the Cranbrook History Centre. We are also very committed to growing our endowment fund, which will help ensure a sustainable, vibrant future for the Cranbrook History Centre.”