Newest City ghost unveiled downtown
reprinted from Red Deer Express (Tanis Reid) May 9, 2012
UNVEILING - Mayor Morris
Flewwelling unveils the 10th bronze ghost in Red Deer. This
sculpture captures the likeness of Julietta Sorensen who was
instrumental in bringing a transit system to Red Deer.
Photo by Tanis Reid, Red Deer Express
The City of Red Deer has officially unveiled its 10th statue in its
Ghost Collection. The Downtown Business Association commissioned the
first ghost project in 1994. Red Deer is proud to have an
internationally renowned collection of life-size bronze statues that
tell the story of Red Deer.
"The Ghost Project is one of the pieces of Red Deer that
distinguishes us as a community. It was started with a dream that we
would have a permanent art collection of bronze on our City
streets," say Mayor Morris Flewwelling, at the unveiling.
The latest ghost, titled 'Waiting for Gordon' is a tribute to Gordon
and Julietta Sorensen who ran Red Deer's first bus service and the
Blue Derby Cafe which operated out of the bus depot.
""Waiting for Gordon' embodies the human aspect of public transit --
the people who offer the service, the people who use it and the
relationship between them."
This bronze masterpiece has been placed at the new transit terminal
which has also been named after the couple who launched the transit
system in Red Deer in 1957.
This particular ghost is composed of six separate pieces. There are
two depictions in the form of roundels, one of Gordon and one of
Julietta, on a wall of the transit building and then there is the
statue of Julietta herself with three suitcases by her feet.
"It was pretty exciting when we called this Sorensen Station but it
is even more exciting to see the bronzes to commemorate them," said
Kristina Oberg, acting recreation, parks and culture manager said
this ghost is meaningful because the Sorensens were seen on the
streets all the time.
"They were at the centre of the community, greeting and feeding
people, and taking care of visitors."
All of the bronze statues in Red Deer have been made by Alberta
artists. This particular ghost was created by an artist by the name
of Brian McArthur.
"When I got commissioned to do this project I was happy and
encouraged to do it. I am interested in this community's history and
being able to tell this story is really fantastic."
I am very proud and very honoured to create this artwork for my
community. I also wanted to share the compelling story of Gordon and
Julietta Sorensen, about their frontier spirit and their pioneering
bus service that they created in Red Deer and Central Alberta."
The story behind the sculpture, according to the artist, is that
Julietta is stepping out of the Blue Derby, looking down the street,
and wondering how long Gordon will be. She is looking out for the
luggage for her patrons that are probably eating pie and drinking
coffee while they are waiting for the bus.
Many people gathered for last week's presentation of the new
statues. Gordon and Julietta's grandson Ted Sorensen was there to
partake in the unveiling.
"My grandmother always did just what she thought needed to be done.
Any recognition was not nearly as important as making sure things
Ted said the artist really captured his grandmother's essence right
down to the barrettes she wore in her hair.
"The details show her personality. That's her here. That's my
News article: Ghost unveiled
(Red Deer Advocate May 2012)
News article: Classic bus cruises city streets
(Red Deer Advocate June 2011)
News article: Transit to retire last low-floor
(Red Deer Advocate Feb.2011)
News article: Parkade named Sorensen Station
(Red Deer Express June 2010)
article: Downtown parkade to be named after transportation pioneer
(Red Deer Advocate June 2010)
News article: Rare GM public bus saved by city
(Red Deer Express Dec.2009)
Evolution of Transit in Central Alberta
History of Red Deer Transit
Michael Dawe article related to transit heritage:
Sorensen Station a fitting tribute
(Red Deer Express June 2010)