Tens of thousands of Rush fans have signed a petition calling for the late-great Neil Peart to be immortalised with a permanent statue or plaque in Lakeside Park in St. Catherines, Canada.
Peart, who died on 7th January following a three-and-a-half-year battle with brain cancer, was brought up in Port Dalhousie and lived very close to Lakeside Park.
In 1975 he penned the highly nostalgic lyrics to Rush’s song of the same name, ‘Lakeside Park’, which was lifted from Rush's third studio album ‘Caress of Steel’.
St. Catharines resident and Rush fan, Tony McLaughlin, started the petition for a memorial last week and it has already amassed more than 22,000 signatures.
Addressed Mayor Walter Sendzik and the The City of St. Catharines, McLaughlin wrote: “Speaking on behalf of myself and many others in the community of St. Catharines, we would like to see some sort of plaque or statue to commemorate the drummer of Rush, Neil Peart, in Lakeside Park.
“Neil spent a lot of his youth in Port Dalhousie as can be heard in the famous song he penned "Lakeside Park," what an amazing tribute it would be to him to have this placed there.
“We're all very proud of his accomplishments after he made that fateful audition in Toronto back in the 70's. If we all pull together, we CAN make this happen. With his untimely passing recently, this needs to be done even more so now. Please sign the petition, and let's all make some change. Thank you.”
According to The Standard in St. Catharines, Neil Peart’s family are behind the idea of a permanent memorial.
They quote Peart's nephew Jason Howe who said the family are "fully on board" with such plans and "they think it's a great honour."
Last Friday (17th January), Rush’s Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson thanked everyone for their “outpouring of love” in the wake of Neil Peart’s passing.
They wrote: “Our most heartfelt thanks go out to family, friends, musicians, writers and fans from around the globe for the incredible outpouring of love and respect for Neil since his passing.
“These touching tributes help to lessen the pain of this terrible loss and remind us all to celebrate his remarkable life and our connections to it.”