Prompted by the need to leave some type of lasting legacy in the Town, it was decided that the Reunion’s Organizing Committee would transfer its focus to seek a suitable project that would be of a permanent nature and be available for public viewing as well as contributing to the wartime history of Gander’s unique part in that effort.
The erection of a statue of the Newfoundland war dog, “Sergeant Gander” and his contribution to the defense of Hong Kong Island in 1941 was determined to be an appropriate and fitting project that would be attractive to today’s children as well as representing a gift from the early children of Gander.
The statue would be positioned at the present cenotaph site and would be a life-size monument of the dog sitting with his soldier handler.
It was soon determined, however, that the present site was in need of major renovation and restoration. In order to accomplish any renewal of the area, the Committee realized that a transformation needed to take place. A landscape architect was engaged to plan and design a new concept that would not only encompass the cenotaph but would also be attractive to residents and visitors as a place of retreat and reflection. The “park” would also include other monuments, tributes, etc. relating to Gander’s role in aviation history.
The cost will be in the range of $250 to $350 thousand dollars and fund raising will hopefully come from provincial and federal programs, organizations within the Town and through public contribution. It is anticipated that site preparation may start as soon as the summer of 2012.
About the Project / Carol Walsh / March 14, 2012
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Thank you. Gerard