Bay Roberts reded­i­cates war me­mo­rial

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE -

A spe­cial cer­e­mony was held July 1 to of­fi­cially reded­i­cate the war me­mo­rial in Bay Roberts and com­mem­o­rate the ill-fated of­fen­sive at Beau­mont Hamel in 1916 that nearly re­sulted in the an­ni­hi­la­tion of the First New­found­land Reg­i­ment.

Or­ga­niz­ers say some 700 peo­ple were in at­ten­dance, mak­ing it one of the best-at­tended Me­mo­rial Day ser­vices in re­cent mem­ory.

“We were ex­tremely pleased with the turnout,” said Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood, who played a lead­ing role in ef­forts to have the Wa­ter Street ceno­taph re­stored. Wood is also an ac­tive mem­ber of Branch No. 32 of the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion in Bay Roberts.

The war me­mo­rial was erected in 1928, and had not un­der­gone any ma­jor up­grades since that time.

It had fallen into dis­re­pair, prompt­ing a groundswell of com- mu­nity and gov­ern­ment sup­port to re­store and en­hance the site, which hosts Me­mo­rial Day ( July 1) and Re­mem­brance Day (Nov. 11) cer­e­monies.

The cen­tre­piece of the me­mo­rial, the mar­ble statue of a sol­dier of the New­found­land Reg­i­ment, was slowly crum­bling. There were cracks and black stains on the hel­met, a sec­tion of the gun strap had fallen off, and the mar­ble was gen­er­ally faded and smeared.

Cracks had also opened up along the mar­ble base, and the con­crete plat­form on which it all sits was heaved and fis­sured.

A restora­tion pro­ject val­ued at some $60,000 was com­pleted in re­cent months, with sup­port from Veter­ans Af­fairs Canada, the Town of Bay Roberts and Branch No. 32.

One of the most note­wor­thy ad­di­tions to the me­mo­rial is a com­mem­o­ra­tive plaque con­tain­ing the names and other data — where and when they died, and where they are com­mem­o­rated — of nearly 40 Bay Roberts cit­i­zens who died in the two world wars.

The statue was also re­paired and cleaned up, and the site was made wheel­chair ac­ces­si­ble.

Re­ac­tion to the up­grades have been very pos­i­tive, said Wood, es­pe­cially among those with fam­ily mem­bers named on the com­mem­o­ra­tive plaque.

In the past, the me­mo­rial only listed the first ini­tial and last name of the de­ceased.

“For the ben­e­fit of the fam­i­lies and present and fu­ture gen­er­a­tions, we wanted to im­mor­tal­ize and fur­ther hon­our those who have their name in­scribed on the mon­u­ment,” added Eric Jer­rett, who co-chaired the restora­tion com­mit­tee.

“There­fore, the bronze plaque set in na­tive stone lists the full name, rank, se­rial num­ber, di­vi­sion of ser­vice, place and date of death, and where the body is com­mem­o­rated. With this in­for­ma­tion, fam­ily mem­bers and re­searchers can usu­ally ob­tain the full mil­i­tary records of the in­di­vid­ual.”

Photo by Terry Roberts/the Com­pass

AN ARENA RE­CRE­ATION — He­ber McGurk of Car­bon­ear poses with his hand-crafted scale model replica of Ju­bilee Rink, which was a fo­cal point for win­ter re­cre­ation in the re­gion more than a half-cen­tury ago. See story and more pho­tos on Page A6.

Photo by Tammy Sparkes Pho­tog­ra­phy/spe­cial to The Com­pass

Shown here of­fi­cially un­veilling the new me­mo­rial plaque in Bay Roberts are, from left, Rev. Amanda Tay­lor, Angli­can min­is­ter and chap­lain for Le­gion Branch No. 32; Bay Roberts Mayor and Le­gion­naire Philip Wood; Mar­garet Rosse, Branch 32 pres­i­dent; Earl Lud­low, hon­orary Lt.-Col. of the Royal New­found­land Reg­i­ment; Port de Grave MHA Glenn Lit­tle­john; and Erick Jer­rett, co- chair of restora­tion com­mit­tee.

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