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Parkade named Sorensen Station
 
reprinted from Red Deer Express (Erin Fawcett) June 16, 2010
 
Red Deer's downtown parkade will be named after a local transportation pioneer.

The parkade was officially named Sorensen Station after City council gave its approval on Monday night.

The station is named after Gordon Sorensen, who began a bus service in the City of Red Deer in 1957.

Sorensen died in 1981.

Cecil Sorensen, Gordon's son, said his parents would be "very pleased" to know the parkade had been named after his father.

"My dad would have been flabbergasted," said Cecil, who traveled from Saskatoon to be in Red Deer for the announcement. "He would have been very honoured."

He added his father's heart was in the transit industry.

"He started a bus line when we were just little. I can remember the first bus that he had. We were the first one to have the flat bus."

About six members from the Sorensen family were on hand for council's approval.

David Radcliffe, chair of the Municipal Features Naming Committee said naming the parkade Sorensen Station "made so much sense".

"We thought if the parkade was named in his honour then it would carry on the tradition that he started," said Radcliffe.

Gordon was raised on a farm near Stettler. In 1933 he, along with an eight passenger Studebaker, started a bus service from Lacombe to Castor.

He then moved to Sylvan Lake and, with the same Studebaker, began bus service to Red Deer and shortly after, expanded to Rocky Mountain House.

In 1940, Gordon moved to Red Deer with his family and opened a bus depot on Gaetz Ave. at 51 St.

The Blue Derby Cafe was operated by the family at this location.

In 1945, the building was sold and a new depot and cafe was built between 49 Ave. and Gaetz Ave. on 52 St.

This was the depot in Red Deer until Greyhound built their depot in the 1980s.

In 1954, Gordon began a rural school bus service and expanded to 37 buses when he sold to Prairie Bus Lines in 1957.

That same year, Gordon began a bus service in the City of Red Deer. He began with one bus and had expanded it to 14 buses when it was sold to the City in 1966.

When the City took over, some of the operators and the buses came with it.

"My father was a man of vision and knew what had to get done and how to get it done," said Cecil.
 


       News article: Newest city ghost unveiled downtown (Red Deer Express May 2012)
       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 vehicle
(Red Deer Advocate Feb.2011)
       News article: Downtown parkade to be named after transportation pioneer Gordon Sorensen                                                                                                                
(Red Deer Advocate June 2010)
       News article: Rare GM public bus saved by city bus man
(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)


 

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