Loyd Smith Park unveiled to honour Air Force veteran and longtime Legion member

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald (L to R) Barbara Mathiason and Marilyn Osborn unveiled the monument for their father at Loyd Smith Park on Saturday afternoon.

Loyd Smith spent a lifetime practicing, but he was always ready.

Smith, a 25 year veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force, was recognized posthumously for his service on Saturday when family members and City of Prince Albert officials gathered to rename the park on Dent Crescent as Loyd Smith Park.

The ceremony was the first of two the City held over the weekend as they continue their plans to name more local parks after veterans and other deserving community members.

Smith’s daughters, Barbara Mathiason and Marilyn Osborn, agreed that the honour was a special one.

“It means an awful lot to the family,” Osborn said. “It’s quite an honour and I think this whole ceremony has made it even more of an honour. We were thrilled to hear it was going to happen … but today really has made it so special.”

Smith was a longtime member and volunteer for the Prince Albert Legion. Mathiason said it was special to have some representatives on hand for a Legion Colour Party.

Emcee and Ward 5 Coun. Dennis Ogrodnick gave a brief history of Smith’s life that he researched through interviews conducted while he was a teacher at Ecole St. Mary High School.

When the family was invited to speak, Mathiason spoke on their behalf.

Marie Mathers of the Prince Albert Legion did the prayer and concluded the ceremony with a reading of the Act of Remembrance. Following the ceremony everyone was invited to the Legion for refreshments.

Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald Members of Loyd Smith’s family posed with the monument at Loyd Smith Park following the unveiling ceremony on Saturday afternoon.

Smith was born in 1925 and passed away in 2022. He enlisted at 18 years old because everyone was doing it. He enlisted at the Air Force Recruiting Centre in Saskatoon in 1943. Smith served as a rear gunner in aircraft and served in Europe for over a year.

Smith and his three older brothers who also enlisted returned to Canada after the war. Smith eventually returned to the Air Force as a mechanic after working other jobs. He was in the Air Force from 1950 to 1972. Smith lived in Prince Albert with his second wife and had two daughters, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Smith went on one mission and spent most of his time practising as World War II was drawing to a close by the time he was in Europe.

He served a total of 25 years in the Royal Canadian Air Force and eventually retired to Saskatoon. Mathiason said the military was a large part of their life.

“That was our life, we moved around Canada in the Air Force,” Mathiason said.

Both Mathiason and Osborn appreciate the City of Prince Albert recognizing veterans in this

“Oh it’s great, it betters the City, ” Mathiason said.

“I’m a former city employee, so I love the City of Prince Albert. It’s a great honour for people,” she added.

“It’s nice for our veterans to be recognized,” Osborn said.

In her speech, Mathiason thanked Ogrodnick, the Legion and the City of Prince Albert.

After family members unveiled the monument Councillor Don Cody brought remarks on behalf of the city of Prince Albert. Ogrodnick, Cody, and Coun. Dawn Kilmer placed a Legion memento by the new sign.