Knowing that he had terminal cancer, Glenn Wood searched for a way of leaving a lasting legacy for his community and for the RCMP to which he devoted his career. He came up with the idea of a statue and bringing it to reality - securing a sculptor, raising funds, soliciting input, convincing City officials to place it at the new City Hall - all consumed many of his last days. The statue depicts a RCMP member commiserating with a young boy grieving for an injured dog. On the base of the statue are four words - key concepts in Wood’s life: Family, Community, Respect, Freedom.
The story below appeared in the Meridian Booster of April 30, 2003.
Glenn Wood, the man who pioneered Lloydminster's tribute to the RCMP - the HOPE statue - has died after a battle with cancer. He was 62. Wood, a veteran of the RCMP for 20 years, had lived in Lloydminster since his retirement from the Mounties in 1979.
Wood joined the RCMP in 1959 and was posted to numerous detachments over the next three years. He served in North Battleford, Glaslyn, St. Walburg, Regina, Goodsoil and Lloydminster, and at times was re-posted to these detachments. In 1961, Wood was posted to "G" Division in the Northwest Territories and served in Frobisher Bay, Griese Fiord, and Pond Inlet. It wasn't long before the RCMP transferred Wood to the Western Arctic, where he served in Fort Smith and Hay River.
In 1965, Wood met his future wife, Ruth. She was a nurse from Newfoundland working in Frobisher Bay when they met. She quickly became his best friend and a major part of his life in the force.
In 1966, Wood was transferred back to "F" Division and was posted at the Outlook detachment. The couple was married and began their family that same year, and not soon after their oldest-of-three daughters, Tracey, was born. In 1971, Wood was transferred to Onion Lake, where their second daughter Keill was born. In 1973, Wood was transferred again - to the Southey detachment - and in keeping with transfer tradition, the couple's third daughter, Taryn was born. Wood stayed in Southey until his retirement in 1979. Shortly after retirement, the family moved to Lloydminster.
Over the course of his 20-year career as a police officer, Wood was honoured by the police force he served, as well as the communities he was posted. He received two Commissioner's commendations for his service in the Arctic. Wood was honoured for saving the lives of two boys at Griese Fiord who had been burnt in a fire. The second Commendation was in 1963 at Hay River. Wood, along with five fellow officers, were honoured for their professionalism and actions during the massive flooding of Hay River. Wood quickly jumped through the ranks of the RCMP, becoming a corporal in 1969 and a sergeant in 1974.
Cpl. Bert Sibilleau of the Lloydminster RCMP said Wood was staunchly dedicated to community involvement wherever he lived. "He has served as a Shriner, a Kinsman, and a Mason," said Sibilleau, in a prepared release. "He was involved in building the Onion Lake hockey rink, the Lloydminster Leisure Centre, and in starting ringette in Saskatchewan."
After his retirement, Wood was made a life member of the Onion Lake Keechaskooh Band, and most recently, his community involvement in Lloydminster is prevalent in the conception and realization of the HOPE statue, which will be unveiled on May 23 - the day before Wood's 63rd birthday.
"This (statue) is not about the RCMP, but about the structure of society," said Wood, in April 2001, when the HOPE project was in its infancy. "It is meant to be thought provoking so people can reflect on themselves and where they stand."
Four words were used as an inspiration for the statue - Family, Community, Respect, Freedom. Ironically, those words - while permanently engraved on the 11-foot statue - may be just as reflective of the man who dreamed it as the philosophies it is meant to represent.