Thursday, August 27, 2020

Westland rededicates park to honor civic leader

Virgil Gagnon, bottom right, was a member
of the original Nankin Township Charter. 
City of Westland officials celebrated the official re-dedication of the Virgil Gagnon Jaycee Park last week.
Mr. Gagnon and his family are among the earliest civic leaders in Westland, officials said and he and his wife, Harriet, were very active in the community with the PTA, Scouting, and many other civic organizations. In 1946, The Gagnons opened the Hamburger House on Michigan Avenue and in the 1950s they opened the Gagnon & Son's Gulf Gas Station at the corner of Wayne and Warren roads.  In 1962, the couple organized the Nankin Township Chamber of Commerce.

Mr. Gagnon was appointed as a Nankin Township trustee in 1964 and served as secretary of the Nankin Township Charter Commission, working alongside eight other commissioners to write the Westland City Charter.
Gagnon was elected to the Westland City Council in 1966 and served as the first council president.  He was appointed as Westland City Clerk in 1970 and where he served for four years.
Prior to his retirement in 1974, Mayor Eugene McKinney and the Westland City Council  proclaimed Dec. 17, 1973 as Virgil Gagnon Day.
“Virgil Gagnon worked tirelessly on behalf of the community and his work on the City of Westland city charter helped to make our city what it is today,” stated Mayor William R. Wild.
“It is an honor to host this re-dedication ceremony for a true public servant of the origination of our beloved city.”