Stone rolls over to park

Memorial field stone to be installed at Saanichton Green Park

The District of Central Saanich aims to have a memorial fieldstone honouring war veterans placed in Saanichton Green Park before Remembrance Day.

During Monday’s regular meeting, council voted to place some type of memorial in the park before this Nov. 11 ceremony. Staff were also asked to look into adding the construction of a permanent cenotaph to the District’s supplemental budget for 2015.

The conversation came up after a presentation from Norma Sealey, who has been involved in organizing the ceremony in Central Saanich for a number of years. She said the timing is right for Central Saanich to have their own cenotaph, especially with 2014 being the 100th anniversary of the First World War.

“Central Saanich has grown up, it’s a big municipality now and we should have our own monument,” Sealy said.

According to Sealey, 50 people from the area that is now Central Saanich served in the First World War and 52 served in the Second World War.

“Central Saanich made a contribution to the war effort,” Sealey said.

At first, council was set on looking into creating a memorial for next year’s Remembrance Day ceremony after a motion was made by Councillor Ryan Windsor asking to add the item to the supplemental budget for 2015.

But Sealey stressed that she felt it was important to act more quickly on having a memorial designated so it would be ready in time for this year’s ceremony.

“Those men didn’t need a year to decide they were going to war, they went out and supported their country without thinking about it. I understand Rome wasn’t built in a day, but surely we can come up with  a fieldstone in a month,” she said.

District Chief Administrative Officer Patrick Robins cited some concerns about the timeline.

“Certainly we can come up with something in a month, but I’m not sure if it would be up to the standards expected,” he said.

“I would hate for us to be given a task and not carry it out to its fullest potential.”

Ultimately, council decided to place a new fieldstone in Saanichton Green Park near the Pioneer Museum some time over the next month and work with the ceremony coordinators to have the ceremony relocated.

Plans for a new cenotaph in the District will be added to the supplemental budget for 2015.

reporter@peninsulanewsreveiw.com