One phase down

Cer­e­mony cel­e­brates com­ple­tion of first stage of Lawn’s Trail of He­roes

The Southern Gazette - - FEATURE - BY CYN­THIA FAR­RELL

A cer­e­mony and rib­bon cut­ting was held to cel­e­brate the com­ple­tion of the first phase of the Trail of He­roes at the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion in Lawn on Oct. 10.

The Lit­tle Lawn Me­mo­rial Trail of He­roes Com­mit­tee was formed in 2013.

The group of ded­i­cated and dili­gent vol­un­teers have been work­ing hard to de­velop a 16kilo­me­tre trail from Web­bers Cove to Lit­tle Lawn Point.

The trail will serve as a me­mo­rial of the brave men of Lawn who risked their lives to save those of 137 sailors from the USS Pol­lux and 42 sailors from the USS Trux­tun – two Amer­i­can naval ships that were lost off the coast of the Burin Penin­sula dur­ing a fierce win­ter storm on Feb. 18, 1942.

The com­mit­tee is fol­low­ing through on a dream held by Ja­son Brock­erville to hon­our the he­roes and build a trail to al­low the pub­lic to view the rocky cliffs that those men trekked that cold day.

As an 11-year-old boy, Brock- erville was present for an emo­tional meet­ing be­tween Pol­lux sur­vivor Henry Strauss and his res­cuer James Drake. The Lit­tle Lawn Me­mo­rial Trail of He­roes Com­mit­tee is fol­low­ing through on a dream held by Ja­son Brock­erville. As a boy he was present for this meet­ing be­tween USS Pol­lux sur­vivor Henry Strauss and his res­cuer James Drake in 1988. Brock­erville, who died in 2014 at the age of 36, wanted to see a trail built to hon­our Lawn’s he­roes and al­low the pub­lic to view the res­cue site.

It was a scene that im­pacted his life for­ever, one that was etched into his heart and brain, gen­er­at­ing a cu­rios­ity and an in­ter­est that he car­ried with him un­til his early death at the age of 36 in 2014.

Over two years of can­vass­ing the fed­eral and provin­cial gov­ern­ments, fundrais­ing, send­ing let­ters to fam­i­lies of the USS Pol­lux and lo­cal sup­port, funds have poured in, making it pos­si­ble to com­plete Phase 1 and start Phase 2.

Phase 1 was com­pleted mainly due to the gen­er­ous do­na­tion from the Cox fam­ily of Lawn in mem­ory of their dad, Fred. Cox’s Con­struc­tion cleared and re­paired the por­tion of the trail from Lawn to Lit­tle Lawn, al­low­ing ve­hi­cles to travel up to that point.

The rib­bon cut­ting in­volved mem­bers of the fam­i­lies of the he­roes. Each fam­ily mem­ber was given a pair of scis­sors and a sec­tion of the large yel­low rib­bon con­tain­ing the name of their loved one.

The sec­tions of the rib­bon were given to the fam­ily mem­bers as keep­sakes.

The com­mit­tee’s goal is to com­plete the trail by 2017. The date to start Phase 2 has not been yet es­tab­lished.

CYN­THIA FAR­RELL PHOTO

A rib­bon cut­ting was held to cel­e­brate the com­ple­tion of the first phase of the Trail of He­roes at the Royal Cana­dian Le­gion in Lawn on Oct. 10. The event was moved in­side due to poor weather.

CYN­THIA FAR­RELL PHOTO

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