The SaskTel Centre features a statue of Howe, who grew up in Saskatoon before embarking on a legendary NHL career. This June, Howe passed away in Ohio at the age of 88 and his family has since made an effort to follow through on his wish to buried, along with his late wife Colleen, near the statue.
In order for Howe to be buried at the location, the provincial government had to grant cemetery status to a small parcel surrounding the statue. The Howe family’s request has been approved. More from CBC News:
On Tuesday, the City of Saskatoon received confirmation from the provincial government approving an official request it made on behalf of Howe’s family, to have the statue and a small portion of land adjacent to the statue, designated a cemetery.
Howe’s family approached city officials earlier this summer, saying it was their wish that the hockey star’s remains be buried at the statue. Howe’s late wife, Colleen, is the only other person whose remains will be buried there. She died in 2009.
Howe’s statue was placed at the SaskTel Centre in 2005, but work had begun on its creation more than a decade earlier, and it was displayed at another location for several years until being relocated to its intended home. (The Saskatoon Star Phoenix published an interesting history on the statue.) After Howe’s death this year, the statue was the site of many tributes from those who mourned his loss.