Manitoulin cenotaph sees renovations

The Manitoulin District Cenotaph after its recent renovation, which saw the interlocking block replaced. photo by Linda Bowerman

CENTRAL MANITOULIN—The Manitoulin District Cenotaph is looking sharp these days thanks to a bit of a floor lift, with the interlocking block being replaced thanks to the diligent fundraising efforts of a small group of volunteers and a contribution from Veterans Affairs Canada’s partnership program.

“We started fundraising back in March,” noted volunteer Linda Bowerman. “We raised $800 at the Manitoulin Trade Fair after expenses.”

The renovation program was badly needed, noted Ms. Bowerman, as there was a lot of plant growth coming up between the previous bricks. “They had to replace all of the bricks because the old ones were not standardized.”

Ms. Bowerman was effusive in her praise for S & T Landscaping, the contractor secured to complete the project. “They did a great job and had it ready for us for Decoration Day,” she said, “including the Youth Memorial.”

The original application for the $3,726 grant did not initially include the Youth Memorial, noted Ms. Bowerman, but as the project developed it was expanded to include the brick surrounding that memorial as well. “We asked ourselves why wouldn’t we do the Youth Memorial as well,” she said. “S & T Landscaping worked with us and we were able to get it done.”

The new interlocking blocks are set with a new sand between them that discourages plant growth, so the new floors should not fall victim to the same issues that the previous interlocking brick system did.

In addition to individual donations and fundraising efforts a number of local businesses stepped up to the plate, including Phil Blake and Three Cows and a Cone, Calvin Pearson and Son, Manitowaning Home Hardware and Manitoulin Transport.

“We really want to say thank you to the fundraising committee for the great job you did and for having it done for Decoration Day including the Youth Memorial,” said Ms. Bowerman. “The perpetual care of these memorials is made possible because of the donations that the committee receives and all the donations are greatly appreciated.”