Locals top up funds for new Trepassey war memorial

·2 min read

Despite a monkey wrench hurled by COVID-19, a volunteer committee in Trepassey is continuing to push on with its efforts to erect a veterans’ monument.

“We thought that these veterans who have fought for our freedom deserve a bit of recognition,” said committee chairperson Marina Halleran, a veteran herself. “You go all over Canada and see these monuments in the bigger cities, and we figured, why shouldn’t we have one here?”

This past summer, the Trepassey Veterans Memorial Committee, a volunteer group of five, secured a $25,000 Community War Memorial grant from the federal Department of Veteran’s Affairs, and while that grant covered the cost of purchasing the monument, the group needed extra funds for the site preparations, installation of the monument, flag poles, benches, concrete finishing, ornamental fencing, and artwork.

The committee had budgeted a total cost of about $60,000 for the entirety of the project.

“Due to the COVID, we are not allowed to fundraise much, so we’ve had to depend on personal donations, and we’ve been doing wonderful,” said Halleran, noting the committee has brought in just over $12,000 in personal donations.

She said that, given the generous nature of people in the area, she’s not all that surprised, though very grateful, for the support.

“Nope. Not a bit. I personally, thought myself that it would fly once we got the word out,” she said, when asked if she was surprised about the number of donations that have come in.

“Every donation, however big or small, means a lot right now to us,” said Halleran, adding they’ve received donations from all over Canada and even from outside the country.

Halleran said Trepassey boasts about 71 WWII veterans, 14 WWI veterans, and nine veterans of the forces since the second world war, as well as members who are currently serving.

Donations to the project can be made to the town hall, or at townoftrepassey2@hotmail.com.

Mark Squibb, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Shoreline News