By Mike Renzella
The Haldimand Press
DUNNVILLE—The Dunnville Legion has undertaken an expansion project to install banners on streetlight poles throughout the downtown core that honour local veterans.
The project was approved by local councillors unanimously, with a budget of $35,500 set for the special project. Funding is to come from both the capital funding project as well as the Community Partnership Capital Reserve.
“The Dunnville Veterans’ Banners Project is a community-led initiative, championed by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 142 Dunnville. As federally mandated, ‘(the) Royal Canadian Legion is committed to making a difference in the lives of veterans and their families, providing essential services in our communities, and remembering the men and women who sacrificed for our country. As such, the group has impetus and means to honour the families of community members who sacrificed their lives in military service,” said Sheryl Sawyer, Community Partnership Liaison – Community Development & Partnerships for Haldimand County.
The project is an expansion of an idea that began in 2017, when a Dunnville Chamber of Commerce member put together the first display of banners honouring veterans. This expansion project will be spearheaded with the goal of installing as many banners throughout town as possible before Remembrance Day on November 11, 2020.
The project was reviewed and approved by both County staff and the Ministry of Transportation for Ontario, with Hydro One being consulted as well. All parties agree that the project is a good initiative well worth the time and effort.
“The project came forward from the Legion through Haldimand County’s Community Partnership Program (CPP), established in 2011 to meet the needs of grass-roots groups in furthering community-led projects on public property. Haldimand County accepts requests from community volunteer groups, offering a 35% investment in the project after a careful and rigorous review process. This process balances public input and municipal approvals to ensure that projects put in place are of interest to community stakeholders and also comply with municipal codes, restrictions, and strategic planning. Since 2011, more than 70 CPP projects have been completed, leveraging more than $2 million in community-raised funds to construct more than $3.7 million in County enhancements,” said Sawyer.
The banners will be placed along Broad Street from Niagara Street to George Street. The area chosen for the display is optimal as it is a major corridor through the town and will be seen by commuters through the town as well as local residents.
Legions have been serving Canadian veterans and their families since 1925. The birth of Dunnville’s Legion was in 1927. it is now a well established, respected community resource, and is an ideal organization to draw light on the illustrious military history that can be found at home in Dunnville. The Legion is known for contributing between $40,000-$50,000 per year to organizations that support veterans and their families.
This project is the result of a lot of hard work and has a large amount of community support behind it. The intention going forward will be to display the banners from Decoration Day in early June through Remembrance Day. Similar projects can be found in Caledonia, Jarvis, and Simcoe. The proposal is for 114 banners to be installed on 57 poles. Once completed, ongoing maintenance, repairs, and storage of the banners will be handled by the Dunnville Legion.