Neil

by Neil Carleton

Friday, August 23rd, was a busy day at the Almonte Cenotaph.  R. Tait McKenzie’s bronze sculpture, The Volunteer, was removed for cleaning and restoration.  The Cenotaph was erected in 1923 to honour those whose fell in World War I, and later augmented to include WWII and the Korean War.  It’s the site of Almonte’s annual Remembrance Day ceremony.

As reported on August 16 in the Millstone, the restoration of the Cenotaph is funded in part by a $12,100 grant from the Cenotaph / Monument Restoration Program of Veterans Affairs Canada.  The remaining $12,100 cost of the project will be paid for by a $1,000 donation from Almonte Branch 240 of the Royal Canadian Legion, a Town of Mississippi Mills reserve contribution of $6,700, and $4,400 in municipal taxes.

Marilyn Snedden’s article last year, about the dedication ceremony of the Cenotaph almost 90 years ago, is archived on the Millstone website here.  Included are two postcard photos of the historical event on Tuesday, September 11, 1923, which was declared a half holiday after 12 o’clock noon by Mayor Thoburn in order that all residents could attend the unveiling.

Before the bronze sculpture could be lifted off on Friday, the underlying mortar had to be cleared around each edge.  Shown here is Amonte’s Keith Blades, a conservation specialist, removing mortar.  As a heritage masonry consultant, he has been working on the extensive renovations of the West Block on Parliament Hill.  Here’s a link to that project.  http://www.canadianconsultingengineer.com/news/canadas-parliament-buildings-start-overhaul/1000544502/
Before the bronze sculpture could be lifted off on Friday, the underlying mortar had to be cleared around each edge. Shown here is Amonte’s Keith Blades, a conservation specialist, removing mortar. As a heritage masonry consultant, he has been working on the extensive renovations of the West Block on Parliament Hill. Here’s a link to that project. 
The Volunteer was slowly loosened from its base with the aid of a compressed air jack.

The Volunteer was slowly loosened from its base with the aid of a compressed air jack.
While work continues on the stone structure of the Cenotaph, R. Tait McKenzie’s sculpture will be cleaned and restored, then returned for mounting.
While work continues on the stone structure of the Cenotaph, R. Tait McKenzie’s sculpture will be cleaned and restored, then returned for mounting.
With the sculpture secured on the truck, the block of stone that seated the statue was removed for further assessment.
With the sculpture secured on the truck, the block of stone that seated the statue was removed for further assessment.