$611,000 Memorial Proposed for Waterfront

Lost to the Sea Site Sign

The location selected for a Lost to the Sea Memorial is on Water Street, at the foot of Glebe Street. Tina Comeau Photo

Published on September 28th, 2010
By Tina Comeau

As part of a lasting legacy beyond next year's 250th anniversary celebrations, the hope is to construct and unveil a Lost to the Sea Memorial on Water Street. The cost of the overall project is steep, though, as it comes with a price tag of $611,000.

Discussions have been held with Canada Heritage, a federal foundation that could provide up to 50 per cent of the overall cost. The other half of the cost would be the responsibility of the town's Waterfront Development Corporation, which says it has funding available for the project from money it receives annually for its budget from the town.

Still, other funding sources would also be explored to cut down on the cost to be applied locally for the project.

An application will be submitted this week to Canada Heritage for 50 per cent funding of the project. Receiving this funding is necessary for the project to proceed. Without this 50 per cent funding the project won't move forward. It is expected to take two to three months to hear if the application is successful.

"If the money doesn't come through from Canada Heritage, we're back to square one. We can't afford to fly on our own with this," Yarmouth 250th committee co-chair Ken Langille told members of the Waterfront Development Corporation last Friday.

The idea for a Lost to the Sea Memorial has been in the works for years. But the memorial has already been shelved once before because the cost was too rich.

The location that has been chosen for the memorial is on Water Street at the foot of Glebe Street, below from where the town hall is located, and close to Frost Park.

Langille said it would contain the names of anyone, under any circumstances, who have been lost at sea. So far there is a list of around 600 names that have been gathered. As part of the overall cost of the project, $50,000 has been set aside to research the names of any Yarmouth County resident lost at sea that would be included on the memorial, whether they died here or elsewhere in the world. Langille said you have to make sure the names and dates are accurate because once the names have been carved on a memorial, it is very difficult to change them if there is a mistake.

The memorial will be made up of carved panels bearing the names. There will also be a water feature incorporated into the design and a park area around the memorial. The design of the memorial is based on one drawn up by former Yarmouth resident James Colbeck.

As well, the intention is to have two interpretive panels located in the municipalities of Argyle and Yarmouth to draw attention back to the memorial.

While the memorial itself would only contain names, a website would include information about the person and how they were lost at sea. There is talk of also having this same information contained in books of remembrance that would be located at the museums in Yarmouth and West Pubnico.

Proposed SiteThe partners in this project would be a steering committee of the 250th, the town of Yarmouth, which would oversee the administration of the project; the Waterfront Development Corporation, which would be responsible for the memorial's construction and maintenance and the Yarmouth County Historial Society, which would look after the research.

There is also talk of a public fundraising campaign. The goal, if the project proceeds, is to unveil the memorial on Dec. 31, 2011.

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