The village of L’Orignal will soon have its own larger-than-life moose as a mascot. Champlain Township council approved $5,000 to purchase a fibreglass moose from Méo Bicycle, a bicycle repair shop and flea-market operation located along Highway 17, close to Alfred.
Champlain councillor Normand Riopel raised the issue, suggesting that the moose would be a good welcome for people as they drive in to L’Orignal. The moose mascot is fitting because, in case you did not know, L’Orignal is the French word for moose.
Councillor Helen MacLeod agreed with Riopel, saying that it should be located at the entrance to town.
While Riopel suggested using $2,500 in funds from the Longueuil reserves (The Township of Longueuil was one of our municipalities which merged to form Champlain Township in 1998), MacLeod said that the township seemed able to find funds for other projects (mentioning a recent purchase of trees), and said that surely the funds could be found for this purchase, too.
All councillors voted in favour of the purchase.
The Review visited Méo Bicycle on April 11 and the moose was still on a trailer near the highway, with a “for sale” sign on it. Owner Méo Lalande said the moose was extremely well-made and would last for decades before it would need a paint touch-up. It has many layers of automotive paint on the fibreglass body, he related.
Lalande said the Quebec maker creates all kinds of animals and said that someone had noticed the fibreglass animals and had suggested that the man contact Méo Bicycle to place them along the side of the highway for better visibility.
Lalande also had two similar fibreglass horses for sale; the price tag on those was $2,500.
When The Review posted a photo of the moose on our Facebook page, asking where the moose should live, dozens of people commented. Most were happy about L’Orignal having a mascot and one person even agreed to have it in their front yard. Many people wanted to see it in downtown L’Orignal across from the MacEwen gas station, while others wanted to see it find a permanent home along Highway 17, where it would be seen by more people.
Champlain Township’s building and by-law department office is located on Highway 17, at L’Orignal, but welcome signs to L’Orignal are located on the north side of Highway 17. Champlain Township has not yet made a decision about the home for the moose.