Published on Mar. 14, 2013
© The Yarmouth Vanguard
Article by Belle Hatfield
The Lost to the Sea monument project, which was conceived at the board table of Yarmouth's Waterfront Development Corporation, is nearing completion.
To date $484,058.36 has been spent and when the final audit is completed, the total cost of the project, excluding in-kind contributions, is expected to be just under $510,000. Canadian Heritage provided $225,000 and the municipalities of Yarmouth and Argyle made contributions towards interpretive panels. The rest of the project has been funded by the corporation, which receives its funding from the Town of Yarmouth.
Since the call went out for concept drawings in 2006, the project has involved the collective vision of dozens of community members.
It required thousands of hours of research, both paid ($60,000) and volunteer. It was championed by the Town of Yarmouth, through the 250th anniversary committee, and through them was connected with Canadian Heritage. It required the partnership of the Yarmouth County Museum and Archives.
Most of all, the project required commitment to a vision that never waivered. In 2010, the first cost estimates came in at $611,000, beyond original expectations. The town's 250th committee was looking for a legacy project to commemorate the township's anniversary, and the monument project was approved for federal funding. It hit a snag in the fall of 2011 when, during the tender process, estimates pegged costs at nearly double the anticipated figures. The committee had to halt the call for tenders and go back to the drawing board. Out the window went plans to unveil the monument on Dec. 31, 2011.
In the end, the Waterfront Development Corporation had to adapt its plans to meet the reality of its budget. It had to take the time needed to complete the research to participants' satisfaction.
It took longer than expected, and it isn't exactly as originally envisioned, but the monument is now nearly ready to unveil and the Lost to the Sea committee has created a living legacy in the website, (www.losttothesea.ca) which contains the history of the county through the lens of those who have been lost to the sea.
Committee member Dave Warner, in reflecting on the process, said, "We just had to do the right work."