Mr. Speaker, October saw the culmination of years of work when Sgt. Mark Gallagher Memorial Vocational School opened in Haiti. The school educates students in agriculture, carpentry, masonry, secretarial, flooring, and tiling.
When RCMP Sgt. Gallagher and many others were killed in the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, it was a tragedy to the people of that country and to many New Brunswickers.
Mark's concern for the youth of Haiti was carried on by a committed group, called the Friends of Mark Gallagher, that envisioned building a school in Haiti in Mark's memory through a partnership with Petites Soeurs de Ste-Thérèse. A massive local fundraising effort ensued with qualified NGOs, such as l'Association québécoise pour l'avancement des Nations unies, and our government, through CIDA, to turn their vision into reality.
The Friends of Mark Gallagher, along with the province of New Brunswick community college network, the RCMP, the Canadian Teachers' Federation, the Woodstock Rotary Club, and Mark's family have seen their dream realized. I am happy to report that on October 13, the school opened its doors to the first set of students, with the official opening set for next week. The children, the very people who were on the mind of Mark Gallagher during his assignment with the RCMP in Haiti, will be the beneficiaries of something good for many years to come.