Local Legion branches receive funds for cenotaph improvements

·2 min read

Veterans Affairs Canada is providing funds to help support two local Legion projects. The Municipality of Callander is receiving $15,525 to help renovate the Callander Peace Park Cenotaph—on the corner of Lansdowne Street and High Street—and the West Ferris Legion is receiving $25,000 to raise a new monument at the Nipissing Junction Cenotaph.

Nipissing-Timiskaming MP Anthony Rota took the podium before Callander’s cenotaph to announce the funding. Many veterans from both Legion branches attended, as did North Bay’s Mayor Al McDonald, and Callander’s mayor Robb Noon.

Callander Legion President, Marc Picard, felt “honoured” to partner with the municipality and Veterans Affairs to help improve the park. Specifically, the funds will go towards “providing a safe and secure venue for our Veterans to celebrate” annual memorial events.

The park is in good shape overall, as is the cenotaph itself, but there is a large retaining wall behind the park that is beginning to crumble, and the money will cover removing that wall, and sloping it down to “mirror the south side” entrance, Picard said, which has an easily accessible ramp running into the park from Lansdowne Street.

“It’s so important to recognize our veterans,” Picard added, “and we have to work hard to help people remember.”

These two sites “are important commemorative landmarks that will help create a legacy to remember our Canadian heroes,” Rota said, “and honour the Veterans from this area who bravely served our country.”

The improvements to the park will ideally encourage residents to visit the site more often, “to remember and reflect on the sacrifices that our community members have made,” Mayor Noon said. “People can visit and honour all of the veterans that did so much for our way of life through the sacrifices that they have made.”

“Our Legion members and our veterans have done so much for all of us,” Rota said, “and it is important that we are there for them.” Today’s funding announcement “is but a small part of our recognition for our veterans, and I’m looking forward to seeing these finished projects that will be a great tribute to the veterans in our regions.”

Both projects are planned to be completed by Remembrance Day.

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of BayToday, a publication of Village Media. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

David Briggs, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca

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