Just months before the expected opening of the Buchanan Centre, its founder Gordon Buchanan has died.
“It is heart wrenching to lose him, but his legacy will persevere,” said Brandi LaBonte with Parkinson Alberta.
“We have worked and known this great man. To quote his granddaughter ‘he was a giant,’” she said. “Not only in people's lives but within the Alberta business community and in the charitable community as well.”
‘Leave a better world’
In his obituary Buchanan is quoted as saying “if you put back just a little more than you take out, you will leave a better world.”
His final legacy will be the ‘one of a kind facility’ that will bear his name at 112th Avenue and 86th Street, across from Commonwealth Stadium.
The Buchanan Centre will be dedicated to helping people with Parkinson’s disease, a degenerative neurological disorder that affects more than 8,000 Albertans.
When it is completed, the centre will provide support for people living with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers. The building will also become the new home for Parkinson Alberta, an organization advocating for people with the disease.
The Buchanan family bought the land and will finance the operation and maintenance for the centre.
Parkinson Alberta is hoping the province will chip in an additional $2 million to go towards costs.
“It was our dream that he be the first person in, but we will make it good for him,” said Barb Foxall, the director of client services for Parkinson Alberta.
The facility is now expected to open in early 2015.
Well-known in business community
In addition to his charitable work, Buchanan was well-known in the Alberta business community, having owned and operated Buchanan Lumber.
He was also one of more than thirty investors who fought to keep the Oiler’s in Edmonton, buying the team from Peter Pocklington in 1998.
He was named Alberta Business Man of the Year in 2002 and was also a member of the Alberta Order of Excellence