Gander Heritage Memorial Park

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Friday, May 30, 2014

Update on Park Construction

We are happy to report that work is commencing on the re-construction of the Park.

The Park Committee has been meeting and planning all winter, and, although it may appear that not much has been done, this past year has seen well over $100,000 in underground construction and the restoration of the Winged Victory. Installation of a drainage system together with replacing and improving the ground system is not easily seen by the general public.

Winged Victory was removed and restored by sculptor Morgan MacDonald at his Newfoundland Bronze Foundry in St. John's at a cost of approximately $75,000. The 12 ton base of Newfoundland granite and concrete foundation amounted to well over $20,000.

In the coming weeks, construction and installation of underground electrical elements will be concluded and a large concrete base is being prepared for the re-mounting of the Wall of Honour of the 125th Newfoundland Squadron of the RAF. This large monument is approximately 9 feet high at its centre and more than 20 feet wide.

The cenotaph will receive finishing touches and the area in front of it will be paved with granite stones which are being specially cut at the quarry of Prestige Rock located near Norris Arm.

In addition, walkways, landscaping, planting of trees, shrubs, etc. will appear by mid to late July. Trees and shrubs have arrived at the nursery and are being held until planting time.

The life-size statue of Sgt. Gander and Rifleman Fred Kelly is presently being created by sculptor Morgan MacDonald and is scheduled to be in place by September.

Benches, receptacles, a water fountain, a low granite wall with tribute plaques and interpretation panels are all included in this phase of construction.

A site foreman is being hired to ensure all work is carried out on schedule and two additional labourers will be hired very shortly.

We have been fortunate to have such great partners contributing to this cause but we will need to acquire more funding in order to meet the requirements.

We hope that contributors will consider the purchase of a plaza paving stone at a cost of $100 each and we are entertaining in memoriam donations, such as, purchasing of benches, however, we are grateful for any donation no matter how small. Directions on how to make donations can be found on the Donations page of this site.

We will post photos, etc. as they become available so keep checking back for updates.

Carol Walsh / May 29, 2014

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Thank you. Gerard