New funding program raises Cenotaph hopes

Proponents are hoping a new federal funding program will make dreams of a new Cenotaph in the District of Port Hardy a reality.

Proponents are hoping a new federal funding program will make dreams of a new Cenotaph in the District of Port Hardy a reality.

The project has been a topic of discussion for three years, said Russ Hellberg, vice president of the 101st (North Island) Squadron, at the regular meeting of District of Port Hardy council March 24.

The vision is to retain the cross from the current cenotaph and add it to a new monument.

This will be flanked by a monument to the forgotten soldier and a memorial totem.

The memorial totem, currently positioned by the Chamber of Commerce office, commemorates members of First Nations who served in past conflicts.

Hellberg told council that Canadian Heritage has just announced a new fund to enhance Canadians’ awareness of the First and Second World Wars and their significance in shaping Canada, its identity and institutions.

Hellberg said the deadline for applications is April 2 and he has been working with Director of Corporate and Development Services Jeff Long to rework a 2013 application with the same budget of $80,900 – with the district providing a $19,510 in-kind donation, the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #237 and 101st Squadron donating $10,000 and another $10,950 in in-kind donations.

The application has a new name as well, the Port Hardy and First Nations War Memorial Cenotaph, Hellberg said.

The addition of First Nations to the new application reflects the fact that thousands served in the First and Second World Wars, said Hellberg.

Uncer the new application Long would be council’s signing authority, Hellberg would be the contact person and would feature a partnership between the district, Hunt, Hereditary Chief and carver, the Legion, the 101st, and the Port Hardy Ranger Patrol.

“There is a possibility that the Ministry will fund 100 per cent, but it’s not likely,” Hellberg said.

Council voted to support the application and appoint Long as council’s signing authority.