‘I can’t wipe the smile off my face’

Annapolis Valley Register - - X NEWS - WOLFVILLE

Be­fore she was even un­veiled, chil­dren were plac­ing dan­de­lions at the feet of the life-sized sculp­ture of Mona Par­sons.

Wolfville Mayor Jeff Cantwell said the sculp­ture brings Par­sons’ Sec­ond World War story to life.

“It’s im­por­tant to Cana­dian his­tory, Nova Sco­tia his­tory and it’s cer­tainly part of Wolfville’s his­tory.”

“Now that she’s danc­ing on Main Street,” Cantwell joked, he can fi­nally take Par­sons’ im­age off his Face­book page where she’s been for two full years.

Kings Hants MP Scott Bri­son looked at the 250 peo­ple gath­ered for the event and said, “we’re all here to hon­our such a re­mark­able hero or hero­ine.”

He thanked bi­og­ra­pher An­dria Hill Lehr for “bring­ing to life the story of Mona Par­sons, who was will­ing to risk her life to pro­tect and save” British air­men.

Bri­son added the sculp­ture will re­mind fu­ture gen­er­a­tions of her val­our and he con­grat­u­lated the com­mu­nity ef­fort to make some­thing hap­pen in Par­sons’ mem­ory.

Rep­re­sent­ing the North Nova Sco­tia High­landers, W.O. Mark Joseph poignantly de­scribed a sol­dier en­coun­ter­ing the 87pound Par­sons at war’s end in 1945.

She was look­ing for British troops and hap­pened upon the High­landers; in fact, a sol­dier from Hal­i­fax. Par­sons had used her act­ing abil­ity, which Joseph called a mil­i­tary-like skill set, in or­der to sur­vive.

Hill Lehr, who found Par­sons’ archived story in 1995, said, “I can’t wipe the smile off my face. It takes a com­mu­nity to make this hap­pen.”

She read from the May 5, 1945 let­ter Par­sons wrote home where the ema­ci­ated woman said her joy was al­most too much to bear.

Sculp­tor Nistal Prem de Boer, whose Dutch par­ents had to hide dur­ing the war, depicted Par­sons ex­press­ing the joy of free­dom.

He said she was an or­di­nary woman who was called upon to risk her life to save oth­ers. De Boer said he looks forward to the face on the Par­sons sculp­ture chang­ing ev­ery day.

WENDY EL­LIOTT

Two mem­bers of the Women of Wolfville, Ra­mona Jen­nex and Linda Wheel­don, un­veiled the Mona Par­sons sculp­ture on May 5 in Wolfville.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.