In November 2014 the Hedley Cenotaph Committee was formed, comprised of members of the Hedley Museum and the Hedley Seniors' Centre. Its purpose has been to assess the current condition and damage to the Hedley cenotaph, secure artisan quotes on repair plans and conduct fund raising efforts for such repairs. Primary repairs identified are: the replacement of lead lettering, “re-pointing” or repairing cracks in the granite and repair of a chunk of granite missing from a corner.
The Cenotaph Committee was unable to find any local artisans in the Okanagan Valley able to take on the work of repairing our cenotaph. Henceforth, Bill Day, Cenotaph Committee member, has worked diligently with two monument companies from Vancouver in assessing the cenotaph's repair needs. Both companies have made on-site visits to the Hedley cenotaph and submitted their quotes for repair. Per the committee's request, the two companies have proposed two different plans for restoration.
Company "A" quote proposes covering the existing lead lettering with granite plaques and re-engraving all the soldiers' names onto the granite. This method deters the possibility of repeated future damage to the lead lettering and repeated costly repairs to the lettering. Of significant consideration to the acceptance of this proposal is the drastic change this will make to the appearance of the cenotaph, changing its century old design. Company A's quote is $19,500.00 - which includes travel and lodging for the artisans while on site in Hedley making the repairs. Company B's quote proposes replacement of lead lettering in keeping with its current appearance. Their quote is $17,262.00 – also including travel and accommodation.
The committee has identified two additional Hedley soldiers as of yet unrecognized on any local monument, Lcp. William H. Henderson and Pte. John W. McLintock. Both soldiers were reported in the Hedley Gazette newspaper of the day (1914-1917) as enlisted men serving from Hedley. The Cenotaph Committee would like to see these two names added to the Hedley Cenotaph. Company B offered an additional quote of $5,472.00 to add these two names with their battalions, in lead lettering.
Veterans Affairs Canada currently has a grant program available for the restoration of war monuments which will match 50% of the repair cost of a monument. The Cenotaph Committee's goal is to raise approximately $10,000 to prepare for making this grant application in 2016.
Since last November, the committee has received to date $4,700.00 in donations toward repair of the cenotaph. These funds are kept in a separate bank account and managed by Hedley Museum Treasurer and Cenotaph Committee member, Margaret Skaar. The Cenotaph Committee has recently received two generous “matching funds” offers from WWI Hedley Boys' families. If we raise any portion up to $3,600 the two donors will match these funds. Deadline for matching funds drive is 31 December 2015. Donations over $20 may receive a tax receipt. Cheques can be made payable to the Hedley Cenotaph Fund and mailed to the Hedley Museum.
There will be a Hedley Cenotaph Town Meeting at the Hedley Seniors' Centre on Wednesday, 25 November, 2pm, to discuss these two quotes and make a decision about what direction to take on the repairs. The Cenotaph Committee earnestly requests your attendance at this meeting as we need input from the Hedley community on which direction to take with the repairs effort.