By KEEGAN LAWRENCE
Downtown CAP Team
NOTHING WARMS our hearts more than seeing the historical monuments and buildings of Kamloops repurposed to serve the community in new ways.
One of Kamloops’ historical icons, St. Andrews on the Square, is used for a variety of events, activities and celebrations. For the CAP team, this has been a prime location for press conferences, Artisan’s Alive music sessions, Yoga in the Park and more. We are grateful to be able to use such a beautiful location for both past and future events.
It is important to appreciate both the history of St. Andrews on the Square and the significance of Phil Gaglardi’s statue that rests on it. Travelling back to 1887, the Canadian Pacific Railway donated land to the Presbyterian community in Kamloops and initial construction of the Church began.
In 1996, the church underwent restorations. To this very day, the Church maintains its original structure and allure. Nearly 50 years later in 1936, St. Andrews and Caledonian society purchased the church and soon following Kamloops icon, Phil Gaglardi became recognized as Reverend for the church.
Representing the church as Reverend, was Gaglardi’s first of many main associations with Kamloops. Also known as Flying Phil, Gaglardi was is significant piece of Kamloops’ history. He was born in 1913 and for 82 years he integrated himself heavily into the Kamloops community with many positive influences.
Aside from being a Reverend, Gaglardi had a very impactful role in his political career. Beginning in 1952, he was elected as an MLA and appointed Minister of Highways. From there, he was appointed to Minister of Social Welfare where he implemented many changes across the province. Finally, Gaglardi served as mayor of Kamloops from 1988 to 1990 as leader of the political party, Action Team 88.
Today, a life-sized statue of Phil Gaglardi at 5 feet 4 inches tall stands in the middle of the St. Andrews Square in Gaglardi Park. St. Andrews is now operated by Kamloops Heritage Society and the CAP team continues to appreciate its belonging in Downtown Kamloops as a fundamental place of Kamloops’ history.
This article was written by Keegan Lawrence, a Customer Care and Patrol (CAP) Team Member. Reach CAP at 250-572-3008/3009 or the Customer Care & Info Centre at 250-572-3017. Email email@example.com. Follow on Facebook, Instagram (Downtownkamloops) and Twitter (@downtownkamloops) too.