Story behind Markham controversial cow statue

The negative reactions to a newly erected cow statue in Markham caught the residents and Councillors by surprise. For the first part of this story, please click here: http://chinesenewsgroup.com/news/662381


A plaque installed at the cow statue site reads: “The city of Markham is pleased to announce the installation of a statue, Brookview Tony Charity, to commemorate an internationally award-winning Holstein cow that was raised on Romandale Farms.” After this was reported in the GTA newspapers,  reporters wanted to verify this fact and once they started, they dug up some interesting stories.
饲养这头叫慈善的奶牛的奶农指出,慈善从来就没有涉足万锦市,也没有在万锦市饲养。这位今年83岁,来自Port Perry镇的奶农Trevena说,慈善两岁到了她的农场。在被诊断得了脊髓癌后,慈善于1988死去并被掩埋。慈善的埋葬地点在Port Perry镇的汗诺威山农场内,有一块岩石和一给匾额纪念它。

The farmer who raised Charity —  the name of the cow now immortalized, says the animal never set hoof in Markham and never actually lived in Markham. Dairy farmer Ken Trevena from Port Perry (now 83) raised Charity from when she was two years old and eventually buried her in 1988, after she was diagnosed with spinal cancer. Her burial site is marked by a rock and a plaque within Hanover Hill Farm in Port Perry. 

奶农表示,慈善与万锦市的唯一接触是1985年,当时Helen Roman-Barber的父亲Stephen Roman是一位富裕的商人,他以$158万元,当年破纪录的价格收购了慈善的一半拥有权。奶牛慈善从未离开过汉诺威山农场,除了去参加一个表演。慈善顶多是在去参展的路上经过万锦并停留。慈善从来就没有到罗曼代尔农场“歇脚”。

Trevena said Charity’s only connection to Markham was in 1985, when Helen Roman-Barber’s father, Stephen Roman, a wealthy businessman, bought a half interest in Charity for a then record $1.45 million. Charity the cow never left Hanover Hill Farms except to go to a show and it is unlikely the cow would even have stopped in Markham going to or from a show. Charity never set “foot” on Romandale Farm in Markham. 

Many residents living around the statue opposed to its placement and the way it was approved by council, says Markham’s approved of the historical facts is offensive to both residents and the cow. With the truth coming out from Port Perry, people questioned the alleged history provided by the statue donors and approved by the City. The legitimacy of the statue is taken away almost immediately. So far, there are no rebuttals to the cow keeper's statements from all those involved.

Another related issue will continue to haunt Markham's City Council. The Markham public art advisory committee rejected the proposal for the larger than life stainless steel cow statue on stilts (twice), according to minutes from meetings, which weren’t made public at the time of Council approval for the statue in 2016. The first time, committee members rejected the donation after being worried about “safety, esthetics, and the choice of location.” The second time they rejected it again and stated that “another location would be suitable” and demanded public consultation.  


At the approval meeting, Council was told that City staff normally approves recommendations from advisory committees. But the attached minutes from the art committee only showed the staff endorsement, and did not include two other meetings where committee members expressed opposition to the project and rejected it. Staff said another art committee, the Varley Art Gallery Acquisitions Committee, had endorsed it, but the minutes show, they only approved the donation “in principle,” and also had concerns about “its extreme height.” It would appear that councillors were now given the whole story.

Residents in Cathedral town started a petition opposing the statue. They also want to go to a Development Services Committee meeting on September 25th to voice their opinion on this issue through their deputations. There are many opinions expressed on Social Media regarding this matter. Many suggested a compromise to remove the stilts from the statue and put the cow onto the ground. With the stilts, children will climb on it and accidents can happen. Other wanted its out right removal from the area due to the alleged distortion of its historical facts. As for the donor and their (minority) statue supporters, they are not budging from their positions to keep the statue as-is.

On September 25th, I expect the two sides to come to a clash within the Council chambers. Who would think that the placement of a cow statue can cause such a ruckus? I wonder if Charity will roll over in her grave if she knew about this?

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