WALKERTON – For Clarence Kieffer, local history enthusiast, cleaning up the walkways at the Walkerton cenotaph is a labour of love – the people honoured by the memorial, and by the stones inset in the brick paths deserve no less.
For the past week of so, early mornings have found him sweeping, weeding and edging. He expects to be at it for another week, depending on the weather.
Mark Sznajdruk is helping him with power washing the brick walkways, then the cracks between the bricks have to be filled in.
Kieffer said he took on the project in 2018, when a candlelight vigil was held to mark the end of the First World War.
“I was appalled at the condition of the park, and decided to clean it up,” he said.
First, he cleaned up his father’s stone, and his uncle’s…
“I decided to do the whole works.”
The stones honouring individuals were placed in 2005, the Year of the Veteran.
Last week, he was none too impressed at the state of the grass, which was in serious need of mowing.
“The town is supposed to look after that,” he said.
He noted there are only five veterans left in Walkerton; they deserve better.
With the 100th anniversary of the cenotaph coming up in July, Kieffer would like to see people show their appreciation for the memorial and what it stands for.
Kieffer’s passion for and commitment to remembrance earned him a commendation in 2019 from the Minister of Veterans Affairs for his “Honour a Hero” project with Royal Canadian Legion Branch 102, Walkerton.
Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times