Major landscaping work to begin around Provincial Cenotaph

The City of Fredericton will begin major landscaping work around the New Brunswick Provincial Cenotaph in Downtown Fredericton starting the week of August 14, 2017.

As part of the refurbishment, overgrown trees and shrubs will be removed, the site will be re-graded to better access the Cenotaph, new pathways will be created, existing power will be updated at the site, three lighted flagpoles will be installed, and existing memorials will be better relocated on the site.

No work will be carried out on the Cenotaph itself, but the steps used to access the War Memorial will be removed and reinstalled once the work is complete. The work is expected to last four to six weeks.

“The plan to refurbish the site has been in the works for a couple of years now,” said Mayor Mike O’Brien.  “We are pleased to provide funding support for the project, which is designed to focus attention on the importance of the Cenotaph to our community and the province.”

“The Legion is really pleased to see this work being carried out,” said Don Swain, President of the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch #04.  “We were delighted to participate in the design work and grateful that the work will improve access to the site for the numerous remembrance ceremonies held there.”

The City of Fredericton is responsible for maintenance of the site and the Provincial Cenotaph.  Funding for the project will come from the City’s Parks & Trees Landscape Renewal budget.  Reimbursement of up to 50% of expenses will come from the Government of Canada Community War Memorial Funding Program.  The Province of New Brunswick will provide partial funding to help purchase new flag poles.  The estimated cost of the design work and landscaping is $70,000.

The overall design of the site ties into the guidelines identified in the City of Fredericton’s recently adopted City Centre Plan.  As part of the refurbishment, a supporting piece of commemorative public art will be commissioned for the site in 2018.

About the Provincial Cenotaph

The Cenotaph in Fredericton came about after the end of World War I, when a group of public-spirited citizens decided that some form of lasting memorial should be erected in Fredericton.  As a result, the Fredericton War Memorial Committee was formed.

A tall shaft of stone, with a suitable base and landscaping, was decided upon as the appropriate design.  A triangular plot of land, bounded by Church, King and Queen Streets was given to the committee by Christ Church Cathedral to use as the site for the memorial.

Plans submitted by a Quebec firm were selected for the project and the necessary funds were raised by public subscription.  The installation of the Cenotaph, made of Quebec stone, followed at a cost of approximately $20,000 – a sizable sum of money in those days.

The Cenotaph was dedicated in a ceremony held on November 11, 1923.  In later years, plaques were added in remembrance of those who fell in World War II and the Korean War.  A plaque commemorating Merchant Seamen was also added.  Other memorials on the site include one for the RCMP, Peace Keepers and NATO, as well as one for the New Brunswick War Brides Association.

The Fredericton Cenotaph was designated as the Provincial Cenotaph in a ceremony held on October 19, 2007.

Background information condensed from:

“We Will Remember” War Monuments in Canada Website:  https://www.cdli.ca/monuments/nb/frederic.html

CanadaGenWeb.org Roll of Honour Project:  http://rootsweb.ancestry.com/~canwgw/projects/honourroll/nb/NB-Centotaph.html

Fredericton’s cenotaph now a provincial landmark, CBC, October 19, 2007: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-brunswick/fredericton-s-cenotaph-now-a-provincial-landmark-1.633083