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New column suggested for Miners' Memorial

Work to be complete by November
ElliotLakeToday file photo shows Miners' Memorial

There's an addition planned for the home of Elliot Lake's National Day of Mourning ceremony, the Miners' Memorial.

That ceremony is held each April 28 at the memorial on the shores of Horne Lake.

The names of former uranium miners are engraved on the black granite columns in memoriam, overseen by a bronze statue of “the Miner”.

While there are a finite number of workers who are eligible to be honoured, in her report to the Elliot Lake  Arts & Culture meeting on Tuesday, Miner's Museum Curator Amelia D'Amato wrote, "We anticipate an influx of individuals who would qualify due to recent efforts of workers’ rights advocates. 

"Thanks to the tireless work of individuals like Janice Martell with her McIntyre Powder Project, more occupational illnesses are being recognized and compensated by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board," D'Amato went on.

"Recognition from the WSIB is an integral part of the review process by the Miners’ Memorial Name Selection Committee," she concluded.

On each Day of Mourning, a few new inductees are added and unveiled at the discretion of the Miners’ Memorial Name Selection Committee and city council. 

This year four new names were inducted to the wall. Those names have not been engraved yet, though, since there's only enough room for one more on the third column. Thus, the need for a fourth column.

Should council approve, artist Laura Brown Breetvelt of Merrickville, On. has recommended the fourth column be installed opposite the current three, behind the statue of “the Miner”.

Last January committee members approved the purchase but subsequently, Breetvelt advised she can no longer honour the original price due to increased labour and container costs.

The projected cost of the fourth column has increased from $22,000 (prior to tax) to $28,000.00 (prior to tax). 

The cost for the bronze miner helmet is now $9,500.00 (prior to tax) for a total project cost of $37,500. 

Like the miner’s helmet on the statue, the plan is for the newly commissioned additional helmet to also have an internal light to illuminate the fourth column.

If the city council decides to go ahead, the installation will be done before the end of this November according to Breetvelt's contract.  It would mean the column would be in place in time for the 2023 Day of Mourning.

The total cost of the granite column and bronze miner helmet, including tax, is $42,375. The money would come from the Miner’s Memorial Care Fund which shows a current balance of $66,584.28.  

Another possible fund extraction is just over $13,000 to pay for 100 granite memorial bricks, which would be sold for $115 each.


About the Author: Brent Sleightholm

As a reporter, Brent has covered everything from amateur and professional sports, to politics, entertainment, police and courts, to human interest stories and government issues
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