An official naming ceremony has been held at the new Crematorium near Thirsk.
The multi-million-pound, council led development which has been named Maple Park in memory of the members of the Royal Canadian Airforce who lost their lives in the area during WW2, is now complete, and will open for ceremonies in March.
A commemorative boulder was unveiled as part of the ceremony by Royal Canadian Airforce representative, Colonel James Hawthorne, the Air Force Advisor at the High Commission of Canada in London.
Also in attendance were members of the Friends of Leeming Aviation Group (FLAG), the Leader of the Council, local Councillors and Hambleton District Council officers.
The naming ceremony was followed by an open day event, giving the local community the first opportunity to look around the new, much needed facility.
Dozens of people took the opportunity to visit the site throughout the day, with visitors enjoying a tour of the facility, a slide show showing pictures of the site and light refreshments.
Councillor Mark Robson, Leader of the council said: “it’s been an absolute pleasure to welcome so many people to the site today to see the finished product.
“I’ve had so much positive feedback about the quality, setting and look and feel of the crematorium building itself as well as the Maple Park site, and I hope people have enjoyed the opportunity to come and look around. Having this key project come to fruition, I hope, continues to demonstrate my commitment as Leader of this council to delivering growth, development and innovation across our district.
“It’s also been a particular honour to welcome a representative of the Royal Canadian Airforce to unveil the commemorative boulder in memory of fallen members of the Royal Canadian Airforce in WW2. It’s only right we acknowledge this, given the location of the site and its significance in terms of local history”
The 22-acre site which features a revolutionary electric cremator to reduce emissions and therefore the area’s carbon footprint, is close to both the A1 and A19 and includes a service hall to accommodate approximately 120 mourners plus additional room for standing. There is also an entrance foyer, waiting lobby, offices and a family room.
As well as this, the single storey facility includes a wake facility and café with beautiful views out over the Hambleton hills. The site also offers a memorial garden, meadows and a wooded area making it a calm and peaceful place for reflection or for scattering ashes.
The site poignantly also features 98 maple trees, planted to commemorate the bombers lost in operations flown from nearby RAF Skipton-on-Swale, which the group viewed as part of this commemorative event.