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Photo courtesy of Shelley Bertram
New Buckhorn Cenotaph Monument: Heroes of Yesterday.
New Buckhorn Cenotaph Monument
November 10, 2017
BY TERRY GILLIS
In September 2016, following a Veteran’s dinner at the Lakefield Legion where MPP Jeff Leal announced that there was a Commemorative War Memorial Grant available from the Federal Government, discussions took place between Shelley Bertram Fallis, Veteran’s Service Officer, and Judy McWhirter, Manager at the Buckhorn Community Centre (BCC) regarding the Buckhorn Cenotaph.
The current cenotaph was erected at the Presbyterian Church in Buckhorn after WWII by the local Women’s Institute. It was moved to the BCC property in 1980 where a Remembrance Day Service has been held ever since.
Shelley brought the idea of applying for a grant to replace the old monument to Judy who in turn took the information to the BCC board of directors. The Board agreed with the idea of replacing the cenotaph and relocating the new one to the other side of the BCC property where it would be more accessible. Judy also discussed the idea with Marilyn Spencley and Carolle Beyore, Remembrance Day Committee members.
Once Shelley and Judy received the go-ahead from the BCC and the Remembrance Day Committee, the Commemorative War Memorial Grant application was requested. Judy McWhirter, Shelley Bertram Fallis, and Carolle Beyore then established an ad-hoc committee which started preliminary discussions on collecting pictures of other cenotaphs in order to come up with a design.
In January the Buckhorn Cenotaph ad-hoc Committee decided on a granite Maple Leaf design with pillar posts surrounding it. Shelley contacted Campbell Monuments who designed the Maple Leaf monument for the Afghanistan memorial in Trenton and had helped restore the Cenotaph in Warsaw. Campbell has done several military monuments in Ontario and worked locally with Lakefield Cemetery.
From January through March, 2017 Shelley Bertram Fallis contacted the Municipality of Trent Lakes and several Legions asking for financial support, should the federal grant be approved.
At about the same time the ad-hoc Committee (Shelley primarily) was seeking financial assistance, research on the history of the soldiers listed on the current cenotaph began. Shelley said that, “great care and consideration was taken to research ranks, full names, correct spellings, and date of death for the local fallen heroes.” Research was done through accessing Service Records on websites, i.e. VAC Library & Archives, Canadian War Memorial and reviewing information in a township history book and speaking with local historians.
The Federal Grant Application was submitted by Judy and Shelley on March 31, 2017.
The project was announced to the public in April. Shelley wrote a letter to the community and composed a pledge sheet for the purpose of generation support and encouraging donations to the project.
The letter explained that the new cenotaph will be named Heroes of Yesterday/Memory Lane and will honour local heroes from World Wars One and Two, and Afghanistan. As part of the project, the bulletin stated, a pathway created by memorial stones will lead from the front sidewalk to the new military monument. The Cenotaph Committee is planning to create a park-like area on the front lawn of the Buckhorn Community Centre.
In April, as well, the Buckhorn Cenotaph Committee began soliciting estimates for the project which also had to be submitted with the Veteran’s Affairs Canada (VAC) grant application.
Confirmation from VAC that the review board recommended that the project receive funding in the amount of $30,174 was received on May 26.
By September, Judy and Shelley were overwhelmed with project details and activities. One of their major goals was the sale of 105 memorial stones, which line the walkway leading up to the monument.
The work at the BCC commenced on Thursday, October 5, 2017: Dave Bowers, of Bowers Contracting, met with Ron Windover (who was doing the excavating) Judy McWhirter and Shelley Bertram Fallis to go over the final sidewalk/pathway design and local mason, Ken Dill volunteered to lay the memorial stones.
Campbell Monument provided an installation date for the Cenotaph and the pathway stones of Thursday, November 2, 2017, in time for this year’s Remembrance Day service. The remaining landscaping and electrical work is expected to be completed by Energized Surroundings in the spring 2018.