A monumental moment: First World War cenotaph in Dartmouth, N.S. abandoned, but not forgotten
DARTMOUTH, N.S. -- The old post office in Dartmouth, N.S. is up for sale, but some historians wonder what will happen to the abandoned cenotaph that sits on the property.
Historian David Jones says when people think of Dartmouth and Remembrance Day, they may think of the cenotaph by Sullivan's Pond, but that was built in the 1950s.
Before that, there was the cenotaph at the Dartmouth post office, a monument to honour Dartmouthians who served and died in the First World War.
"I would say that this monument has become forgotten," says Jones.
Now that the post office property is for sale, Jones says he is worried about the future of the cenotaph that sits on the front lawn.
"I think it really goes together well with the site. It's been here since the early 1900s," Jones says.
Jones says if anyone redevelops the property, "they should incorporate this into the site so that it's still visible."
Military historian Ken Hynes says all 136 inscribed names represent a heroic chapter of history.
"Those names stand for real people who had real lives, hopes and dreams, and all those things," says Hynes, curator of the Army Museum Halifax Citadel.
Hynes says the cenotaph should not be disturbed.
However, if it ever does get relocated "it should be done very carefully and placed in a prominent location in Dartmouth," Hynes says.
HRM Coun. Sam Austin says anyone who buys this property, cannot simply discard this monument and it would take federal government permission to move it.
Jones says more needs to be done to celebrate all of Dartmouth's heritage, culture and history. Thus, protecting this site is crucial.
"There are people walking, working and quarantining around Dartmouth who are related to the names of the people on those plaques," says Jones.
It's a treasured list of those who lived in the community that served and sacrificed in the First World War.