Air India Memorial vandalized

News May 05, 2010 by Tamara Shephard Etobicoke Guardian

Brazen thieves have torn the 'shadow caster' off the Air India Memorial sundial.

The first Air India Memorial to be built in Canada is in Humber Bay Park East. Names of the 329 victims of Air India Flight 182 are etched into nine panels of polished black granite fronted by a sundial oriented in the direction of the memorial in Ahakista, Ireland, near where the plane went down.

City parks staff discovered the theft in early spring, a city official said, during their annual review and cleanup of city parks.

Officials are coordinating the repair and replacement of the sundial's stainless steel shadow caster known as a 'gnomon' in Greek, said Peter Klambauer, the Air India Memorial's senior project coordinator with the city.

"We built it very durably. It's fixed in there," Klambauer said. "Someone just got in there at one point or another and worked it out. We're replacing it. We're working at making it more vandal-proof. All the people involved understand the meaning behind (the memorial). They're putting their heart into it."

Klambauer said he has contacted the sundial's original metalworker to order a replacement shadow caster.

The federal government contributed $400,000 to the memorial, the province $200.000. The City of Toronto donated the land, project management, some plantings, and is responsible for its maintenance.

The Air India Boeing 747, on a flight from Canada to India, was destroyed by a suitcase explosive over the Atlantic Ocean beyond the shores of Ireland on June 23, 1985.

It is Canada's worst act of terrorism.

This June marks the 25th anniversary of the tragedy.

"It will be looking good for the anniversary, no question," Klambauer said.

The Toronto memorial - built in the lakefront Etobicoke park - is designed to serve as a "touchstone" for regional commemorations every June 23 - Canada's new National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism, victims' families have said.

"This memorial (is) a place, not just for the families of the Air India tragedy, but for all Canadians to reflect and remember victims of terrorism," Jayashree Thampi, with the Air India Victims' Families Association has said.

Thampi lost her husband and daughter in the bombing.

Joining the names of the 329 victims of Air India Flight 182 on the memorial wall are Hideo Asano and Hideharu Koda - baggage handlers killed that day in an associated bombing at Narita Airport in Japan.

The sundial reads: "Time flies suns rise and shadows fall let it pass by love reigns forever overall."

A circular 'Y' symbol has also been drawn on the granite face of the sundial.

Klambauer said he suspects it could be candle wax. Efforts are being made to remove it without damaging the stone.

Victims' families who attend the memorial often light candles and lay flowers in remembrance.

The Air India Victims' Families Association fought - and waited - 22 years to have a memorial built to commemorate the lives of their loved ones.

City officials contacted families to inform them of the vandalism to the memorial, and its repair, Klambauer said.

"I hope that awareness and exposure of the issue will work to discourage further vandalism (to the memorial)," Klambauer said.

On June 23, 2007, Air India families joined politicians including Prime Minster Stephen Harper, Premier Dalton McGuinty and Mayor David Miller at an official unveiling ceremony of the Air India Memorial.

Families chose the site for its open views of Lake Ontario "which will encourage reflection," they said.

Air India Memorial vandalized

City officials repairing monument in time for 25th anniversary of tragedy

News May 05, 2010 by Tamara Shephard Etobicoke Guardian

Brazen thieves have torn the 'shadow caster' off the Air India Memorial sundial.

The first Air India Memorial to be built in Canada is in Humber Bay Park East. Names of the 329 victims of Air India Flight 182 are etched into nine panels of polished black granite fronted by a sundial oriented in the direction of the memorial in Ahakista, Ireland, near where the plane went down.

City parks staff discovered the theft in early spring, a city official said, during their annual review and cleanup of city parks.

Officials are coordinating the repair and replacement of the sundial's stainless steel shadow caster known as a 'gnomon' in Greek, said Peter Klambauer, the Air India Memorial's senior project coordinator with the city.

"We built it very durably. It's fixed in there," Klambauer said. "Someone just got in there at one point or another and worked it out. We're replacing it. We're working at making it more vandal-proof. All the people involved understand the meaning behind (the memorial). They're putting their heart into it."

Klambauer said he has contacted the sundial's original metalworker to order a replacement shadow caster.

The federal government contributed $400,000 to the memorial, the province $200.000. The City of Toronto donated the land, project management, some plantings, and is responsible for its maintenance.

The Air India Boeing 747, on a flight from Canada to India, was destroyed by a suitcase explosive over the Atlantic Ocean beyond the shores of Ireland on June 23, 1985.

It is Canada's worst act of terrorism.

This June marks the 25th anniversary of the tragedy.

"It will be looking good for the anniversary, no question," Klambauer said.

The Toronto memorial - built in the lakefront Etobicoke park - is designed to serve as a "touchstone" for regional commemorations every June 23 - Canada's new National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism, victims' families have said.

"This memorial (is) a place, not just for the families of the Air India tragedy, but for all Canadians to reflect and remember victims of terrorism," Jayashree Thampi, with the Air India Victims' Families Association has said.

Thampi lost her husband and daughter in the bombing.

Joining the names of the 329 victims of Air India Flight 182 on the memorial wall are Hideo Asano and Hideharu Koda - baggage handlers killed that day in an associated bombing at Narita Airport in Japan.

The sundial reads: "Time flies suns rise and shadows fall let it pass by love reigns forever overall."

A circular 'Y' symbol has also been drawn on the granite face of the sundial.

Klambauer said he suspects it could be candle wax. Efforts are being made to remove it without damaging the stone.

Victims' families who attend the memorial often light candles and lay flowers in remembrance.

The Air India Victims' Families Association fought - and waited - 22 years to have a memorial built to commemorate the lives of their loved ones.

City officials contacted families to inform them of the vandalism to the memorial, and its repair, Klambauer said.

"I hope that awareness and exposure of the issue will work to discourage further vandalism (to the memorial)," Klambauer said.

On June 23, 2007, Air India families joined politicians including Prime Minster Stephen Harper, Premier Dalton McGuinty and Mayor David Miller at an official unveiling ceremony of the Air India Memorial.

Families chose the site for its open views of Lake Ontario "which will encourage reflection," they said.

Air India Memorial vandalized

City officials repairing monument in time for 25th anniversary of tragedy

News May 05, 2010 by Tamara Shephard Etobicoke Guardian

Brazen thieves have torn the 'shadow caster' off the Air India Memorial sundial.

The first Air India Memorial to be built in Canada is in Humber Bay Park East. Names of the 329 victims of Air India Flight 182 are etched into nine panels of polished black granite fronted by a sundial oriented in the direction of the memorial in Ahakista, Ireland, near where the plane went down.

City parks staff discovered the theft in early spring, a city official said, during their annual review and cleanup of city parks.

Officials are coordinating the repair and replacement of the sundial's stainless steel shadow caster known as a 'gnomon' in Greek, said Peter Klambauer, the Air India Memorial's senior project coordinator with the city.

"We built it very durably. It's fixed in there," Klambauer said. "Someone just got in there at one point or another and worked it out. We're replacing it. We're working at making it more vandal-proof. All the people involved understand the meaning behind (the memorial). They're putting their heart into it."

Klambauer said he has contacted the sundial's original metalworker to order a replacement shadow caster.

The federal government contributed $400,000 to the memorial, the province $200.000. The City of Toronto donated the land, project management, some plantings, and is responsible for its maintenance.

The Air India Boeing 747, on a flight from Canada to India, was destroyed by a suitcase explosive over the Atlantic Ocean beyond the shores of Ireland on June 23, 1985.

It is Canada's worst act of terrorism.

This June marks the 25th anniversary of the tragedy.

"It will be looking good for the anniversary, no question," Klambauer said.

The Toronto memorial - built in the lakefront Etobicoke park - is designed to serve as a "touchstone" for regional commemorations every June 23 - Canada's new National Day of Remembrance for Victims of Terrorism, victims' families have said.

"This memorial (is) a place, not just for the families of the Air India tragedy, but for all Canadians to reflect and remember victims of terrorism," Jayashree Thampi, with the Air India Victims' Families Association has said.

Thampi lost her husband and daughter in the bombing.

Joining the names of the 329 victims of Air India Flight 182 on the memorial wall are Hideo Asano and Hideharu Koda - baggage handlers killed that day in an associated bombing at Narita Airport in Japan.

The sundial reads: "Time flies suns rise and shadows fall let it pass by love reigns forever overall."

A circular 'Y' symbol has also been drawn on the granite face of the sundial.

Klambauer said he suspects it could be candle wax. Efforts are being made to remove it without damaging the stone.

Victims' families who attend the memorial often light candles and lay flowers in remembrance.

The Air India Victims' Families Association fought - and waited - 22 years to have a memorial built to commemorate the lives of their loved ones.

City officials contacted families to inform them of the vandalism to the memorial, and its repair, Klambauer said.

"I hope that awareness and exposure of the issue will work to discourage further vandalism (to the memorial)," Klambauer said.

On June 23, 2007, Air India families joined politicians including Prime Minster Stephen Harper, Premier Dalton McGuinty and Mayor David Miller at an official unveiling ceremony of the Air India Memorial.

Families chose the site for its open views of Lake Ontario "which will encourage reflection," they said.