MANITOWANING – The cenotaph in Manitowaning had been in a neglected state, the flower beds overtaken with weeds—a community eyesore—that is until a group of community-minded citizens came together to spruce the war memorial up.
Jennifer Hooper had been driving by the cenotaph and, seeing the state of disrepair for some time, she reached out to Assiginack events co-ordinator Jackie White and asked if she could do something about it.
Ms. White explained that Colin Pick used to care for the cenotaph, but since he moved from Manitoulin the task had not been picked up by anyone else.
“I spent about an hour at the cenotaph, weeding the flower beds,” Ms. Hooper explained. “All of a sudden Deb Smith showed up; she had seen me working and said she was so happy to see someone doing something. It had been upsetting her too. Since I had weeded the beds, she took over the digging and planting.”
Ms. Hooper then collected her children and put them to work at beautifying the cenotaph. “It’s one thing to tell them things, but it’s another to teach them hands-on. How else will they learn the importance of doing things like this?”
Solar lights were then added by Keith Nelson and Rob Maguire was there lending a hand too. Financial donations to the project began to filter in.
“The flowers look beautiful by day and the solar lights are very impressive in the darkness,” said Anne Elliott, who contacted The Expositor to let this newspaper know about the community initiative. “Quite an improvement to our community.”