One of Haliburton’s most iconic landmarks will be temporarily out of place in the new year.

The M4 ‘Easy Eight’ Sherman tank on display outside the Haliburton Legion is in desperate need of some TLC according to local legion member, Nick Bryant. He’s been leading the charge to have the vehicle refurbished, recently telling The Highlander the hardware will soon be moved to a property on Gelert Road so it can be fixed.

“It’s an icon of the town and of the legion, but it’s in pretty rough shape,” Bryant said. Arriving in Haliburton from Canadian Forces Base Borden in the early 1970s, the tank has long served as a local memorial to Highlands’ veterans. A plaque installed on the tank reads, “through the mud and the blood to the green fields beyond.”

It is dedicated to all ranks of the Canadian Cavalry and the Royal Canadian Armoured Corps who served in conflicts from 1812 to present day, noting the War of 1812 (1812 to 1814), Canada’s Rebellion (1837 to 1839), the Fenian Raids (1866), the North West Rebellion (1885), the South African War (1899 to 1902), The First World War (1914 to 1918), the Second World War (1939 to 1945), the Korean War (1939 to 1945) and United Nations’ peacekeeping efforts (1956 to present).

The M4 Sherman was constructed by Fisher Tank Company in the 1940s and used predominantly by the U.S. in the Second World War, and by Canadian troops in the Korean War. It was named after Union General William Tecumseh Sherman, a noted American Civil War general.

According to online records, the tank based in Haliburton was constructed in 1945.

Bryant said it’s been about 15 years since the last upgrade. Workers will use a highpressure blaster to clear rust and debris before repainting. The tracks will also be taken off, cleaned up and reinstalled. If all goes to plan, Bryant said the tank should be back in Haliburton by mid-to-late summer.

“After this, it’ll go for another 20 years probably before it needs anything else… it’ll breathe some new life into it, that’s for sure,” Bryant said.

The project is expected to cost around $24,000. Bryant has applied for a $14,000 Canadian War Memorials grant through the federal government. The remaining $10,000 will come from the legion’s coffers, he notes.

Two local companies – Total Site Services and Haliburton Crane Rental are helping the legion with the logistics of moving the 37-ton tank from the downtown.

Bryant said they will likely need a crane to lift it onto a low-bed truck. That will be done in March. Bryant said the legion is accepting donations from anyone in the community who wants to contribute.

“We have committed to doing this… but if someone wanted to step up and help, that would go a long way,” Bryant said. To donate, contact the legion at 705-457-2571.