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Bronze statue of Farley Mowat unveiled

SASKATOON - Famed Canadian author Farley Mowat has been immortalized in Saskatoon with the unveiling of a bronze statue depicting him and his beloved dog, Chester.

Mowat, who wrote such classic books as "Never Cry Wolf" and "The Boat Who Wouldn't Float," was born in Belleville, Ont., but spent his teenage years in Saskatoon.

Heather Magotiaux, a vice-president at the University of Saskatchewan, says she hopes students who pass the statue every day on the university campus will be inspired by the author.

Mowat died at the age of 92 in May, leaving behind decades worth of diverse work on topics ranging from life on the Prairies to his time as a soldier in the Second World War to the Canadian north.

The city was selected for the statue’s placement at Mowat's own suggestion.

He told Toronto businessman Ron Rhodes, who commissioned the statue, that Saskatoon would be a wonderful place to spend the rest of his days.

“Mowat was a gifted writer, and his work as an environmentalist will be one of his lasting legacies. He should be remembered as one of the real heroes of our time,” said Rhodes.

The sculpture was created by George Boileau, who was on hand for the unveiling Wednesday along with Mowat's widow, Claire, and a class of Grade 2 students from a Saskatoon elementary school.

“Farley Mowat was a true artist of the highest calibre,” said Boileau, who spent four years working on the statue and in the process, became good friends with the Mowats.

He said Farley was able to see a wax version of the sculpture before he died, but the unveiling was the first time Claire saw the final product.

“I have to tell you it was rather a strange experience because Farley died only five weeks ago, and to see a replica of him was quite moving,” she said.

She said Mowat, before he died, personally invited the students from École Lakeview School to attend the unveiling because they had written him letters.

“He was always delighted to hear from children who read his work and felt moved to write to him,” Claire said.

(Global Saskatoon, CTV Saskatoon)

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