MONTREAL – Larger than life. Any hockey fan can tell you that Jean Béliveau is a giant among hockey legends and bronzed living proof of that now stands proudly in his name.
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To help commemorate the 350th Anniversary of the city of Longueuil, a giant statue weighing in at almost 800 pounds was unveiled in front of Le Colisée Jean Béliveau - a venue which has carried his name since 1970. A native of Trois-Rivieres, Béliveau has since called the suburb of Montreal’s south shore home for over the past 50 years.
Created by artists Jules Lasalle and Annick Bourgeau, the impressive likeness of Béliveau took over six months to complete. Six people perfected the mould in a Montreal workshop, while a dozen others were involved in crafting the super-sized Béliveau at a factory located in Inverness, QC.
Unveiled on Friday, there has been no shortage of awestruck locals since then to have visited Longueuil’s newest tourist attraction to honor their famous neighbor and longtime Canadiens captain.
One admirer in particular paid his respects while in search of anything but a photo op with the gleaming statue.
“I came by this morning looking for a little inspiration,” overheard team photographer Bob Fisher from a humbled onlooker.
Something tells us he wasn’t the first or the last to do so in Béliveau’s presence.
Manny Almela is a writer for canadiens.com