New benches dedicated at four local cemeteries – October 7th, 2010

Published by the Frontenac News October 7th, 2010

Bench at Harrowsmith Cemetery

On September 30, 2010, Ken Brown, president of the Portland District and Area Heritage Society, headed up four consecutive dedication ceremonies for four granite benches that were installed in cemeteries in Murvale, Harrowsmith, Verona and Piccadilly, as part of a project that the society began in 2008.

The project began when Val Ruttan of Harrowsmith, a member of the society, suggested resting cemetery benches as a way for the society to support the community. “I used to like wandering through the Harrowsmith cemetery with my dog and always thought it would be great to have a place to sit down.”

Ken Brown then headed up the project, which culminated with the installation of the four benches two weeks ago.

Ken Brown spoke first and thanked Ron and Margaret Pritchard from Hartington Equipment who sponsored the installation of the Harrowsmith bench. According to Ken, the Harrowsmith Cemetery was laid out in 1885 for A.C. Charlton, although burials had been taking place there since the early 1870s.

Mayor Gary Davison, who has family members buried in the cemetery, made the official dedication and thanked the society for its hard work.

Reverend Lynda Price said a prayer and other members of the community had a chance to voice their appreciation. Eldon Hamilton, chair of the cemetery board, also spoke with emotion, highlighting his family connections to the cemetery.

Three other bench dedications took place that same day, in Verona, Piccadilly, and Murvale, each led by Ken Brown and attended by various community dignitaries and church representatives.

Funding for the project came from the Heritage Society and generous funding for the supports and installation costs for the other threes benches were provided by the Performance Shed in Murvale and Revell Ford Lincoln in Verona. The Heritage Society on behalf of The Friends of St. Martin-in-the-Fields sponsored the bench in Piccadilly.

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