Gander Heritage Memorial Park

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Saturday, May 4, 2013

Activity Update for May 3 2013

Inactivity on our website is in no way indicative of inactivity at The Gander Heritage Memorial Park. The committee is meeting monthly, and sometimes more frequently, and huge strides have been made in the detailed plans and design specifications for the Park. The Design Consultants, DMG, have now completed the blueprints and soil samples. We have met with Wareham’s Construction and they have now staked and roped off the park and advise they are ready to move. It is hoped that, if Mother Nature co-operates, equipment will be on site in less than a week and we’ll have photos of the sod turning!

We currently have several fundraisers ongoing and will update you in the next few days on some very important announcements.

A report from sculptor Morgan McDonald indicates that the repairs/refurbishment of the current cenotaph Winged Victory are on schedule and the statue will be returned and installed well in advance of the ceremonies scheduled for July 1, 2013.

On a cold, snowy, and windy day in December 2012 the cenotaph Winged Victory is removed from her pedestal at the War Memorial for transport to St. John’s for repairs and refurbishment. Thanks to the Town of Gander staff for their assistance.

Photo courtesy of Sculptor Morgan McDonald

The following is an extract of Morgan’s progress report. We invite you to view more of the spectacular work by this sculptor by visiting his website The Newfoundland Bronze Foundry.

Excerpts from Report from Sculptor Morgan McDonald ...

The sculpture has undergone a thorough cleaning to remove all oxides and dirt. After many years of being in place the sculpture has accumulated significant amount of oxidization and other environmental corrosion.

Photo courtesy of Sculptor Morgan McDonald

Throughout the sculpture there are a number of holes in the bronze. Major incidences of porous gas holes from the original casting will be repaired to seal it from the environment and to improve the cosmetic quality of the bronze. There are numerous areas of this throughout the piece. This will be remedied as much as possible without affecting the artistic integrity of the piece. There are join lines visible on the wings, arms, back and base, these will be re-welded and refinished to eliminate the cracks and seam lines. Any welding throughout the statue is to be re-textured. This operation is a finely detailed craft.

A support structure on the inside of the statue will be created also known in sculptural terms as the "Armature". This will be used to create a suitable mounting base for the statue.

Patina is the final finishing touches made on the appearance of a bronze and is the most important step in the process of restoring the Winged Victory Statue. It is ultimately the colour & final look that the statues will take on. Winged Victory will be patinated using ferric nitrate and liver of sulphur compounds.

The very last step in creating a bronze sculpture is to apply a coat of wax. Your sculpture will have many coats of wax applied. This is usually done when the metal is still warm and allows for the wax to enter the pores of the bronze. The wax acts as a barrier to the air and humidity that can cause the bronze to oxidize and turn green.

We have also commissioned Morgan McDonald to complete the sculptures of Sgt. Gander and his soldier/handler.

Maxine Smith, Committee Member / May 03, 2013

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Thank you. Gerard

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