Kimberley residents will honour veterans at one more Remembrance Day ceremony at the old cenotaph this year, as Military Ames spokesperson Cindy Postnikoff says that the new cenotaph at Veterans Memorial Park downtown simply will not be ready in time.
The plan was to have the new cenotaph ready for November 11, 2016 even though much of the landscaping would not be done. However, that is not going to be possible, Postnikoff says.
“The granite we want is not available in North America,” she said. “The granite won’t be in Canada until the end of October and that just isn’t enough time.
“We were offered others but said no. We want to stay with the nicest granite. We are not settling for less on anything for this memorial.”
Shipping could have been expedited but it would have been expensive, and sticking to budget is important for a project operating on grants and fundraising.
On the positive side, Postnikoff said maybe now they can come up with some way to give the old cenotaph a proper send off this year.
“We are trying to come up with ideas. It seems like the respectful thing to do.”
In the meantime, plans for the park are forging ahead.
“We are going ahead with selling memorial benches, which start at a cost of $1200 for a curved bench. Then you buy a memorial plaque. Park style benches cost more. We are making a list of those interested. People can share a bench or an organization can buy one in memory of a veteran.”
A bench can be in memory of one who wasn’t necessarily a veteran, Postnikoff says.
“We sold one to a woman who dedicated it to her husband, who was a miner. That plaque will note that miners contributed to the war effort.”
Plans also include a granite wall with memorial plaques, plus information stones.
In addition to a $25,000 grant from Veterans Canada, Postnikoff has applied for others as well and says those applications are looking pretty good.
There is also a trust fund set up at Kootenay Savings if you’d like to donate.
Next year’s Remembrance Day ceremony will definitely be at the new park, she said.
“We are working on it right now, and when we unveil it in the spring it will be beautiful.”