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Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Events In Goderich Infringing On Cenotaph, Garden

Goderich | by Peter Jackson  

Goderich Legion officials want special events to respect war monument and reflection garden.

The Royal Canadian Legion and groups who hold special events in Goderich's Courthouse Park will have to wait another two weeks for a resolution on the Cenotaph and Reflection Garden issue.

The Legion wants a change to the town's special events policy, that disallows special events from spilling over into the Cenotaph area.

Goderich Council Monday heard from Legion Branch 109 Past President Paul Thorne and Huron Womens' Shelter Board Chair Susan Pye.

By a unanimous recorded vote of 6-to-nothing, Council has directed staff to draw up a map and frame a by-law setting the boundaries of the Reflection Garden, which could be expanded to the sidewalk.

Councillor Michele Hansen was absent from Monday's meeting.

Thorne tells The Beach News that the issue is personal to the Legion because the Cenotaph memorializes Goderich's war dead, and was the focus of time and money spent for a dedicated space following the 2011 tornado.

He says the Legion is ready to talk with all groups who hold special events, and reach an understanding that reflects the needs of both sides.

Pye says the Womens' Shelter isn't being disrespectful of what the Cenotaph represents, but the Refection Garden space impacts the scope of events like the Shelter's arts and crafts sale.

She points out that a smaller space reduces the number of vendors, which in turn cuts the amount of donations to the Shelter.

Pye is also willing to sit down with Legion officials, in the hope of coming to an agreement.

The proposed by-law and Reflection Garden map will come before Council on September 25th.

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