Tommy the Soldier statue is put back into Veterans Park - Oct. 26/21Tommy the Soldier statue is put back into Veterans Park - Oct. 26/21

Rededication of Sarnia Cenotaph marks 100 years, highlights new upgrades

A rededication ceremony is being held at the Sarnia Cenotaph in Veterans Park to commemorate its 100th anniversary of being built in 1921.

The ceremony will include the unveiling of a plaque recognizing its 100-year milestone, along with the reintroduction of 'Tommy' the Soldier statue that was reported vandalized earlier this spring. The copper rifle attached to the statue was stolen about two years ago and has since been shipped off for repairs.

Sarnia Historical Society President Cory Burke said the community helped raise over $100,000 toward the upgrades at the Cenotaph, which included enhanced security and lighting.

"I was just blown away by how enthusiastic the community was when information broke that the Cenotaph was vandalized," said Burke. "So many organizations got behind us, giving their time and money, to support a very worthwhile cause."

Tommy the Soldier statue is put back into Veterans Park - Oct. 26/21

Burke said major contributors to the initiative included the Sarnia-Lambton Building and Construction Trades Council, IBEW Local 530, Mammoet, Memorial Restorations, and Veteran Affairs Canada.

Sarnia-Lambton Building and Construction Trades Council President John Swart was overwhelmed with the community support, financial contributions, and volunteerism.

"It truly was a community effort," said Swart. "Unions and trade organizations were engaged early and either wrote a cheque or volunteered staff. You name it, electrical, cranes, cement work, carpentry, engineering, the list goes on and on. So many moving parts with a condensed timeline, there was a lot happening. Fortunately, we all understood the importance of this task and everyone came together. The final product is stunning and the citizens of our community will be proud of this for years to come."

The ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, October 30 at 4:45 p.m. and is by invitation only.

It will be attended by local politicians, MPs, MPPs, trade unions, and local organizations who helped with the restoration.

There will be a small gathering afterward, with limited capacity, at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 62 on Front Street.

Remembrance Day this year will mark the 100th anniversary of the Cenotaph.

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