13 December, 2007

The Tree to Tuk Christmas Express

Trans Canada Trail makes donor’s last wish come true

Tuktoyaktuk, NWT – December 13th, 2007.
Margrit Gahlinger’s Norfolk pine tree is heading for a new home just where she wanted it to be – near her metre of Trans Canada Trail in Tuktoyaktuk, NWT. Mother of nine, grandmother of six, Margrit passed away on April 19th, 2007 in London, Ontario, one of the most southerly cities in Canada. Her final challenge to her daughter Rosemary was to have her little indoor pine tree which had sat by her bed placed near the metre of the Trans Canada Trail that she had sponsored in Tuktoyaktuk, one of the most northern locations in Canada.

“The tree symbolized the very essence of her being,” says grandson Calen, who along with his mother Rosemary, will travel to Tuktoyaktuk starting December 17th to fulfill the wish and to promote the Trans Canada Trail thanks to a donation made by Trans Canada Trail Governors, who are underwriting the expedition. Calen, a high school junior, is also developing a plan to engage Canadian youth in helping to build and support the Trail as part of his International Baccalaureate program that requires the fulfillment of 150 hours of community service in grades 11 and 12.
Canadian broadcast journalist, Valerie Pringle, Chair of the Trans Canada Trail says, “We are delighted to see this tree make its way north in the Christmas Season as this is the time of year that so many Canadians choose to honour a loved one by placing their name on the Trail in one of our pavilions. Margrit’s tree is a gift to all in Tuk who cherish their community as one of the three launch points for the Trans Canada Trail which connects Canadians from coast to coast to coast.” The western launch is Tofino on Vancouver Island and eastern launch is St. John’s, NFLD.

The tree will be presented to the community of Tuktoyaktuk at a special community centre Winter Solstice Celebration on the 21st of December and will be received by local councillor, Maureen Gruben, who will keep the tree in her home where she cares for other indoor trees. Tuktoyaktuk is above the tree line so the tree will remain indoors but can be brought to the community centre for special occasions.
The Trans Canada Trail began as a concept in 1992 as a legacy of Canada 125 as a national celebration of the desire of Canadians to link together as a people and as a nation. With 18,000 km of land route and over 3000 km of water route, winding its way through every province and territory, connecting over 800 communities, this is the longest recreational trail in the world. Inauguration for Phase 1 of the Trail is planned for 2010 to coincide with the Olympic year festivities including the Torch Relay.
Over 110,000 Canadians have purchased a symbolic metre of Trail and had their names or the name of a loved one, placed in one of the 90 pavilions placed across the country for this purpose. To see a list of pavilions or to purchase a metre of Trail ($50 per metre), you can visit www.tctrail.ca or call 1-800-465-3636.
For more information about the Tree to Tuk expedition or about the Trans Canada Trail, or to arrange an interview with Valerie Pringle, please contact:
Mary Bone, Media Relations
Tel. 647-282-1225
Sanderson Layng, President and CEO
Tel. 647-883-4334


Thank you