Cenotaph relocation sparks debate in Rossland

On Monday morning Copcan crews began the process of moving Rossland’s cenotaph from its current location.

An artist rendering of what the future cenotaph site will look like on Columbia Avenue next to the Library.

On Monday morning Copcan crews began the process of moving Rossland’s cenotaph from its current location.

The spot they’re moving it to isn’t far, just one metre forward from it’s current spot. The plan also calls for the monument to be angled, so rather than having a square base, it will be a diamond.

The placement has been agreed upon by the Legion and the City, though some have raised question of why the cenotaph is becoming a permanent fixture on Columbia, rather than put in storage until it can be placed back in Pioneer Park, where it was more than ten years ago.

Ray Van Der Nieuwenhof is one of those who wants the cenotaph moved to Pioneer.

He said Monday that it is a desecration for the cenotaph to be moved the way it is.

Van Der Nieuwenhof was quite upset when he heard news that the cenotaph was being moved, and despite being a member of the Legion Committee on the relocation of the cenotaph, he had not heard of the plan.

He was in council Monday to let members know his thoughts on it.

“You do not use a memorial to enhance the streetscape,” Van Der Nieuwenhof said Monday. “A memorial should allow next of kin and other citizens a quiet, peaceful place of reflection to commemorate the sacrifices of those who fought for our country.”

Mayor Greg Granstrom said both in council and an interview that the cenotaph relocation had been resolved and was backed up by Legion president Doug Halladay.

“We had two delegations, one that wanted it moved and one that didn’t,” Granstrom explained, adding that Al Stinson and Van Der Nieuwenhof wanted to move it to Pioneer Park.

Instead the city decided to add the waterfall and bridge enhancements and leave the cenotaph at its downtown location.

He said that the new location would allow for the reflection, as well as creating a ambiance with lighting.

As for Pioneer Park, he said that it was not an option as there is currently no space.

The new location will allow a better vantage point for Remembrance Day ceremonies, upon which the City closes the section of Columbia from Queen Street  to St. Paul Street.

Granstrom said that shutting down Columbia Avenue is one way they show their respect to the people who sacrificed their lives for the country.

Doug Halladay, Rossland Legion president  said the Legion was behind the city in the cenotaph location.


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