The St. George Cenotaph is in need of repair.
St. George resident Dave Thomson said during a presentation to County of Brant councillors on Tuesday night that the aging memorial located at the intersection of Beverly and Main streets requires a $20,000-fix this spring.
“The 87 years since the St. George Cenotaph was erected have taken their toll on its cement base, which is above the ground by about six inches,” Thomson said. “I, along with both the South Dumfries Historical Society and the Brant County War Memorials committee, feel it would be best to address this issue well before it becomes a safety concern.”
The memorial was dedicated in August 1926 in honour of the community’s First World War soldiers.
The St. George Cenotaph is the oldest war memorial in both the City of Brantford and County of Brant – predated only by the St. George Memorial Hall, which was dedicated in honour of local First World War veterans a year earlier, Thomson said.
According to the community groups’ plan, the monument will be temporarily removed from its base and reconditioned by a Kitchener-based stone company, while the old base will be removed and replaced with a new concrete base topped with granite.
The surrounding pathway will be removed and replaced with a stamped concrete sidewalk, Thomson said.
Thomson said Veterans Affairs Canada will match dollar-for-dollar any donations collected from county residents – up to 50 per cent of which can be in-kind donations.
St. George-area Coun. Steve Schmitt said the planned project is a matter of safety for local veterans and residents.
“The walkway is not safe, especially with veterans walking down it to place poppies on the cenotaph on Remembrance Day,” Schmitt said. “Because things are uneven, it’s a worry. The area around the monument is also in need of repairs.”
Thomson asked that the County of Brant provide public works employees to help a landscaping company remove the crumbling base of the monument, rather than contributing public funds for the project.
The presentation and request was referred to the county’s public works committee for consideration during its upcoming meeting on Tuesday.