By Greg Bennett
The Coast Guard
Two World I relics, once hidden at the back of the Shelburne Cenotaph are now faithfully restored as potent historical reminders and were welcomed back with a special ceremony on Sunday, July 22.
The two guns, one a British field gun and the other a German gun captured by Canadian troops, had languished for years at the site of the cenotaph.
The deteriorating reminders of wars’ long past eventually came into the view of Shelburne Public Works supervisor Mike Turney who took the project on and through asking for a lot of help from others was able to see the two refurbished guns proudly take their place amongst the memorials to those who died in Canada’s service.
During Sunday’s service, it was stressed that it was only through volunteer efforts the project became a reality.
Calvin Blades of Oakhill rebuilt the wooden wheels from the axel to the rim. The only parts remaining of the original wheels are the hubs and the rims. In addition Shelburne Ship Repair sandblasted the rust from the weapons in readiness for the repairs by staff. New wooden seats were also built by Mike Race.
Public works employees built the cement pads and tended gardens at the site.
At the service to dedicate the refurbished guns, veterans, Legion members, town representatives and public members were joined by local reenactors dressed in historical British military garb.
During the ceremony, Shelburne Mayor Al Delaney offered some of the history behind the guns and said he was humbled to be a part of the rededication service.
“This is a place to remember all those who served in the past,” he said.
Rev. Ed Trevors, of the Shelburne Anglican Church, spoke about the importance of remembering past sacrifices and of the important role the once dangerous artillery pieces play in that remembrance.
“It’s in remembering that we heal,” he said.
Royal Canadian Legion Branch president Gary Hemeon offered his thanks on behalf of members and veterans for the efforts made to refurbish the relics and said it was appropriate that the guns be placed in a significant area of the cenotaph site.