Pro­ject in­spired by Quinn Butt in the works for Har­bour Grace

Memo­rial Wall will hon­our vic­itims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence

The Compass - - News - BY CHRIS LEWIS chris.lewis@tc.tc

Elena Par­sons-Kat­kic says a memo­rial wall in­spired by Quinn Butt will be a wel­come ad­di­tion to Har­bour Grace.

Kat­kic, a for­mer res­i­dent of Har­bour Grace now liv­ing in On­tario, said she was deeply af­fected by the story of Quinn Butt.

Five-year-old Quinn died last year when a fire broke out in her fa­ther’s home on Hay­den Heights in Car­bon­ear. Her fa­ther, Trent Butt, pleaded not guilty to first­de­gree mur­der and ar­son charges and the case is now be­fore the court.

Last year, Kat­kic or­ga­nized a fundraiser in Quinn’s name, but felt that she could do more.

After see­ing a sim­i­lar memo­rial else­where, Kat­kic says she was in­spired to pro­pose the idea to the Town of Har­bour Grace.

Coun­cil re­cently ap­proved Kat­kic’s sug­ges­tion. The wall will be ded­i­cated to vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, an is­sue Kat­kic says de­serves more open dis­cus­sion.

“This type of vi­o­lence is hap­pen­ing all around us and we don’t even know,” said Kat­kic. “To be in the 21st cen­tury and still have this … viewed as a taboo topic to dis­cuss is un­ac­cept­able in my eyes.”

She hopes the memo­rial will en­cour­age dis­cus­sion of the sub­ject; that peo­ple might feel more com­fort­able talking about do­mes­tic vi­o­lence, while show­ing sup­port for vic­tims.

Kat­kic added she hopes to see the memo­rial be­come a place for peo­ple to come and re­flect; this made the lo­ca­tion of the memo­rial an im­por­tant de­ci­sion for the town.

Once the wall is built, the plan is to make it pos­si­ble for peo­ple to pur­chase but­ter­fly-shaped plaques, on which they can write the name of a loved one af­fected by do­mes­tic vi­o­lence.

At a re­cent town coun­cil meet­ing, Har­bour Grace Deputy Mayor So­nia Wil­liams ex­plained some ba­sic plans for the wall.

Wil­liams said while noth­ing is set in stone, it may be pos­si­ble for money from plaque pur­chases to be used as do­na­tions, or used for main­te­nance of the memo­rial.

After hear­ing her sug­ges­tion had been ap­proved, Kat­kic said she felt noth­ing short of amazed, and “ex­tremely ex­cited.”

“It truly is an hon­our to be a part of such won­der­ful pro­ject as I feel it will have a great im­pact on the town. I hope that the ap­proval of this pro­ject will give vic­tims the courage to seek help, know­ing they have a com­mu­nity stand­ing be­hind them,” said Kat­kic.

The wall is still in the early stages of plan­ning, and the fi­nal con­cept is not yet set in stone.

How­ever, Kat­kic says the town is now in the process of find­ing a con­trac­tor will­ing to work with them on the wall’s de­sign, an artist to paint the fin­ished prod­uct, and a sup­plier for the plaques.

Kat­kic added that any­one look­ing to stay up to date with the pro­ject’s progress could join the Face­book group: Quinn’s Memo­rial Wall.

“Most im­por­tantly, I hope that (Quinn’s mother) finds some sort of strength in know­ing she has an army of strong women and men be­hind her. I hope this wall will forever be a re­minder that Quinn will never be for­got­ten.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

An early stage idea of what the memo­rial wall may look like, along with leaf-shaped plaques.

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