Tenders Push Back Lost to the Sea Project

Memorial Concept

Lost to the Sea Memorial - conceptual drawing.

Published on Oct. 28, 2011
© The Yarmouth Vanguard
Article by Tina Comeau

The Lost to the Sea Memorial has been, for the time being, lost to high tenders.

Prices to construct the memorial, which came back in a recent tender process, were more than double what was being budgeted for. As a result, the construction of the memorial - being undertaken by the Yarmouth Waterfront Development Corporation - is now being pushed back further into next year.

The Lost to the Sea Memorial will bear the names of Yarmouth County residents who have died at sea - and not only from recent accidents or tragedies, but also dating to the age of schooners when ships sailed out to sea and members of those crews never came home. Those who died while serving in the navy and merchant marine navy during wartime will also be remembered.

The list of names gathered - work being carried out by the Yarmouth County Historical Society at the Yarmouth County Museum and Archives - has grown considerably since this memorial was first envisioned years back, and this has changed the size of aspects of the memorial.

"The tenders came in well over budget," Deputy Mayor Byron Boudreau recently informed Yarmouth Town Council. As a result he said a decision has been made to cancel the recent tender call.

A funding partner for the project is Canadian Heritage, which has been contacted and is receptive to extending its funding deadline into (sic) further into the new year. "This will allow us to review the design work and the economics to (aim for) completion in early summer."

In the interim, Boudreau said, quotes will be obtained for the stone display for the names, which includes a bronze ship's wheel.

The Yarmouth County Museum and Archives continues to research the names.

"There are 2,200 names and counting," said Boudreau, who said it is a far cry from the hundreds of names that had been originally anticipated.

"We expected around 250," he said.

The concept of a Lost to the Sea Memorial is one that had been discussed for years. Indeed, this particular project was being talked about back in 2006.

In 2010 the project starting (sic) gaining more fuel. In September 2010 it was stated the memorial could cost around $610,000 with the federal foundation Canadian Heritage looking to contribute 50 per cent of the cost. It was stated at the time that the waterfront corporation would be responsible for coming up with the rest.

In March 2011 an announcement of $225,000 for the project from Canadian Heritage was announced by West Nova MP Greg Kerr.

The site for the monument - to be located on the corner of Water and Glebe streets - was chosen in 2006. That same year officials had turned to the public for suggested concepts and eight were received and viewed. The chosen design came from James Colbeck

Earlier this year the intention was to construct the memorial in time for a Dec. 31 unveiling, since the project has been deemed a legacy project of the Yarmouth 250th, which is coming towards the end of its year-long celebrations.

In more recent months the decision had been made to aim for a completion of the project and an unveiling in the spring.

Funding Announced for Lost to the Sea Project

Proposed Design

Looking over a drawing of the Lost to the Sea monument: West Nova MP Greg Kerr, Yarmouth County Historical Society president Aurel Mooney and Yarmouth Mayor Phil Mooney. Eric Bourque photo.

Published on March 21st, 2011
By Eric Bourque

Yarmouth's town hall was the setting Tuesday afternoon, March 15, as West Nova MP Greg Kerr was on hand to announce $225,000 for the Lost to the Sea Memorial, one of the Yarmouth area's 250th anniversary projects.

The memorial project will see a monument put up remembering those from the Yarmouth area who lost their lives at sea. The monument is to be located just behind the town hall and the plan is to unveil it at the end of this year. Kerr also announced $32,100 for the 250th-anniversary planning committee..

He announced the funding on behalf of James Moore, the minister of Canadian heritage and official languages, who, in a statement issued in conjunction with the announcement, spoke of the federal government "partnering with communities to support activities that celebrate our shared history and our rich cultural diversity."

Said Kerr, referring to the 250th-anniversary initiatives, these "will contribute to building the community through a better appreciation of our great heritage and help continue a lasting legacy."

Acknowledging that these have been challenging times for the local area, he said, "Yarmouth always surges ahead."

As for 2011 and the many anniversary-related activities planned, he said, "Certainly this is a very special year."

Aurel Mooney, president of the Yarmouth County Historical Society and one of those who spoke during the funding announcement ceremony, said researchers have been hard at work on the Lost to the Sea project, a point she touched on in an interview afterwards.

"I think it's a fabulous project," she said. "We were only too happy to be able to sign on with this and we knew we would have volunteers to do the research and we have a great deal of research material in our archives."

The society has people, she said, "that on a regular basis are doing this (research) and they have been for at least six months."

Members of the public can help the researchers, she said, by contributing names they may have of people lost at sea that otherwise might be left out.

"If they know of anyone, we would certainly like to know," Mooney said..

A site for the monument - to be located on the northeast corner of Water and Glebe streets - was chosen in 2006. That same year officials turned to the public for suggested concepts and eight were received and viewed.

The design chosen came from James Colbeck and, according to the Lost to the Sea Memorial website, "The winning design was further developed by the architect firm Sperry and Partners and has been held by the Yarmouth Waterfront Development Corporation until an opportunity to move forward was identified."

$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.