Enough funds raised to repair Malvern Collegiate's First World War statue

News Jan 23, 2011 by Joanna Lavoie East York Mirror

"Ecstatic" is the first word that came to mind when Vandra Masemann, president of The Malvern Red and Black Society (the school's alumni association), spoke about the school community succeeding in raising $50,000 to restore its Great War monument.

"Everybody wanted to see the statue repaired. We felt we had a historical duty to succeed (in the fundraising). We're just so thankful we received the money," Masemann said.

"As soon as the ice melts, literally, they can start work on refinishing the outside skin of the statue and the base."

The restoration will involve cleaning the granite monument and stabilizing its base as well as crafting a new left arm and sword, restoring eroded stone and repairing the lettering depicting the names of the 25 Malvern students who died in the First World War. The majority of the work will be done on-site.

The Malvern school community plans on holding a grand unveiling celebration on Friday, Nov. 4., 2011 at 11 a.m. that recreates the 1922 ceremony when the statue was originally unveiled.

"Quite frankly, I hope it's the biggest event the Beach is going to see in quite some time. It will really be something special," Masemann said, noting the alumni association is also working on putting together a special booklet about those whose names are inscribed on the statue. Anyone with information or any relatives of the 25 men are urged to email archives@malverncollegiate.com or call 416-393-8683.

School Trustee Sheila Cary-Meagher said it was remarkable to watch this campaign gain momentum day after day.

"It was really quite interesting. It just got bigger and just kept rolling," said the Ward 16, Beaches-East York representative, a strong supporter of the project from Day 1.

"It was just entertaining and exciting to see what the next thing would be. (The school community and various other supporters) rose to the occasion in spades."

 

Campaign begins

In 2010, the Malvern school community - with the leadership of The Malvern Red and Black Society's War Memorial Restoration Committee - embarked on a concerted campaign to raise $25,000 to restore the nine-foot war memorial, which is a registered cenotaph.

The Onward Malvern Foundation, the school's charitable fundraising arm that is managing the funds raised, started off with about $1,600 from a few donors upset the statue had reached such a sorry state.

In June 2010, PACE Savings and Credit Union became the first major contributor to the monument's refurbishment by donating $10,000.

During the school's Remembrance Day ceremonies last year, Masemann called on all students, teachers and community members in attendance to help restore the school's war memorial to something students both present and former can be proud of.

"We're not just doing this in memory of the people who were here at that time," said Masemann, who for several years now has worked with a team of volunteers to organize the school's archives.

"Your history is connected with their history."

As a result, The Maintenance, Construction and Skilled Trades Council, the union representing the TDSB's custodians and maintenance workers, came forward with a $9,000 donation.

More than 80 past and present students and school supporters have donated $11,000 to the cause.

"A lot of people sent in money because they feel some sort of connection to Malvern," Masemann said, noting two donors (Chris Commins and Shirley Jones) are the direct descendants of two of the men inscribed on the statue.

"A lot of people wrote some very meaningful notes."

Longtime Beacher Chris Commings, whose uncle William Kennedy Commings is one of the 25 Malvern students who died during the First World War, said he couldn't be happier the monument is being restored to its former glory.

"Our family was delighted to make a contribution to help. We've got Nov. 4 circled on our calendar. It should be a wonderful ceremony," he said, crediting Masemann for leading the charge on the fundraising.

"My Uncle Bill wrote a series of wonderful letters from France to his family in the Beach. These have been preserved, and reading them again 90 years after they were written makes me proud of what he (and Commins' Uncle Chester - a Riverdale Collegiate graduate - who was also killed during The Great War) sacrificed, and proud that the wonderful community my family lived in 100 years ago will be honouring his memory."

The TDSB has also contributed $8,000 to repair the base of the statue.

The icing on the cake was the recent approval of a $14,000 grant from the federal government's Cenotaph/Monument Restoration program.

"I commend the Toronto District School Board for its efforts in preserving the memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Supporting memorial restoration projects is one way the Government of Canada ensures our veterans are remembered," said Thornhill MP Peter Kent, the recently appointed minister of the environment, in a Jan. 16 release.

Jean-Pierre Blackburn, minister of veterans affairs and minister of state (agriculture), agreed in the same press release.

"It is our sacred duty to remember and honour the brave men and women in uniform who serve Canada so selflessly. Our veterans have fought for our freedoms and these cenotaphs are symbols of their accomplishments. It is gratifying to know that younger generations have special places like these to reflect on our country's history."

Masemann said an additional $10,000 must still be raised to purchase a surveillance camera and lighting to ensure the statue isn't damaged.

To donate, send a cheque to the Onward Malvern Foundation (with War Memorial in the memo line) to War Memorial Fund, Malvern CI, 55 Malvern Ave., Toronto, ON, M4E 3E4. Tax receipts will be issued for all donations more than $10.

Enough funds raised to repair Malvern Collegiate's First World War statue

Restoration work set to get underway this spring

News Jan 23, 2011 by Joanna Lavoie East York Mirror

"Ecstatic" is the first word that came to mind when Vandra Masemann, president of The Malvern Red and Black Society (the school's alumni association), spoke about the school community succeeding in raising $50,000 to restore its Great War monument.

"Everybody wanted to see the statue repaired. We felt we had a historical duty to succeed (in the fundraising). We're just so thankful we received the money," Masemann said.

"As soon as the ice melts, literally, they can start work on refinishing the outside skin of the statue and the base."

The restoration will involve cleaning the granite monument and stabilizing its base as well as crafting a new left arm and sword, restoring eroded stone and repairing the lettering depicting the names of the 25 Malvern students who died in the First World War. The majority of the work will be done on-site.

The Malvern school community plans on holding a grand unveiling celebration on Friday, Nov. 4., 2011 at 11 a.m. that recreates the 1922 ceremony when the statue was originally unveiled.

"Quite frankly, I hope it's the biggest event the Beach is going to see in quite some time. It will really be something special," Masemann said, noting the alumni association is also working on putting together a special booklet about those whose names are inscribed on the statue. Anyone with information or any relatives of the 25 men are urged to email archives@malverncollegiate.com or call 416-393-8683.

School Trustee Sheila Cary-Meagher said it was remarkable to watch this campaign gain momentum day after day.

"It was really quite interesting. It just got bigger and just kept rolling," said the Ward 16, Beaches-East York representative, a strong supporter of the project from Day 1.

"It was just entertaining and exciting to see what the next thing would be. (The school community and various other supporters) rose to the occasion in spades."

 

Campaign begins

In 2010, the Malvern school community - with the leadership of The Malvern Red and Black Society's War Memorial Restoration Committee - embarked on a concerted campaign to raise $25,000 to restore the nine-foot war memorial, which is a registered cenotaph.

The Onward Malvern Foundation, the school's charitable fundraising arm that is managing the funds raised, started off with about $1,600 from a few donors upset the statue had reached such a sorry state.

In June 2010, PACE Savings and Credit Union became the first major contributor to the monument's refurbishment by donating $10,000.

During the school's Remembrance Day ceremonies last year, Masemann called on all students, teachers and community members in attendance to help restore the school's war memorial to something students both present and former can be proud of.

"We're not just doing this in memory of the people who were here at that time," said Masemann, who for several years now has worked with a team of volunteers to organize the school's archives.

"Your history is connected with their history."

As a result, The Maintenance, Construction and Skilled Trades Council, the union representing the TDSB's custodians and maintenance workers, came forward with a $9,000 donation.

More than 80 past and present students and school supporters have donated $11,000 to the cause.

"A lot of people sent in money because they feel some sort of connection to Malvern," Masemann said, noting two donors (Chris Commins and Shirley Jones) are the direct descendants of two of the men inscribed on the statue.

"A lot of people wrote some very meaningful notes."

Longtime Beacher Chris Commings, whose uncle William Kennedy Commings is one of the 25 Malvern students who died during the First World War, said he couldn't be happier the monument is being restored to its former glory.

"Our family was delighted to make a contribution to help. We've got Nov. 4 circled on our calendar. It should be a wonderful ceremony," he said, crediting Masemann for leading the charge on the fundraising.

"My Uncle Bill wrote a series of wonderful letters from France to his family in the Beach. These have been preserved, and reading them again 90 years after they were written makes me proud of what he (and Commins' Uncle Chester - a Riverdale Collegiate graduate - who was also killed during The Great War) sacrificed, and proud that the wonderful community my family lived in 100 years ago will be honouring his memory."

The TDSB has also contributed $8,000 to repair the base of the statue.

The icing on the cake was the recent approval of a $14,000 grant from the federal government's Cenotaph/Monument Restoration program.

"I commend the Toronto District School Board for its efforts in preserving the memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Supporting memorial restoration projects is one way the Government of Canada ensures our veterans are remembered," said Thornhill MP Peter Kent, the recently appointed minister of the environment, in a Jan. 16 release.

Jean-Pierre Blackburn, minister of veterans affairs and minister of state (agriculture), agreed in the same press release.

"It is our sacred duty to remember and honour the brave men and women in uniform who serve Canada so selflessly. Our veterans have fought for our freedoms and these cenotaphs are symbols of their accomplishments. It is gratifying to know that younger generations have special places like these to reflect on our country's history."

Masemann said an additional $10,000 must still be raised to purchase a surveillance camera and lighting to ensure the statue isn't damaged.

To donate, send a cheque to the Onward Malvern Foundation (with War Memorial in the memo line) to War Memorial Fund, Malvern CI, 55 Malvern Ave., Toronto, ON, M4E 3E4. Tax receipts will be issued for all donations more than $10.

Enough funds raised to repair Malvern Collegiate's First World War statue

Restoration work set to get underway this spring

News Jan 23, 2011 by Joanna Lavoie East York Mirror

"Ecstatic" is the first word that came to mind when Vandra Masemann, president of The Malvern Red and Black Society (the school's alumni association), spoke about the school community succeeding in raising $50,000 to restore its Great War monument.

"Everybody wanted to see the statue repaired. We felt we had a historical duty to succeed (in the fundraising). We're just so thankful we received the money," Masemann said.

"As soon as the ice melts, literally, they can start work on refinishing the outside skin of the statue and the base."

The restoration will involve cleaning the granite monument and stabilizing its base as well as crafting a new left arm and sword, restoring eroded stone and repairing the lettering depicting the names of the 25 Malvern students who died in the First World War. The majority of the work will be done on-site.

The Malvern school community plans on holding a grand unveiling celebration on Friday, Nov. 4., 2011 at 11 a.m. that recreates the 1922 ceremony when the statue was originally unveiled.

"Quite frankly, I hope it's the biggest event the Beach is going to see in quite some time. It will really be something special," Masemann said, noting the alumni association is also working on putting together a special booklet about those whose names are inscribed on the statue. Anyone with information or any relatives of the 25 men are urged to email archives@malverncollegiate.com or call 416-393-8683.

School Trustee Sheila Cary-Meagher said it was remarkable to watch this campaign gain momentum day after day.

"It was really quite interesting. It just got bigger and just kept rolling," said the Ward 16, Beaches-East York representative, a strong supporter of the project from Day 1.

"It was just entertaining and exciting to see what the next thing would be. (The school community and various other supporters) rose to the occasion in spades."

 

Campaign begins

In 2010, the Malvern school community - with the leadership of The Malvern Red and Black Society's War Memorial Restoration Committee - embarked on a concerted campaign to raise $25,000 to restore the nine-foot war memorial, which is a registered cenotaph.

The Onward Malvern Foundation, the school's charitable fundraising arm that is managing the funds raised, started off with about $1,600 from a few donors upset the statue had reached such a sorry state.

In June 2010, PACE Savings and Credit Union became the first major contributor to the monument's refurbishment by donating $10,000.

During the school's Remembrance Day ceremonies last year, Masemann called on all students, teachers and community members in attendance to help restore the school's war memorial to something students both present and former can be proud of.

"We're not just doing this in memory of the people who were here at that time," said Masemann, who for several years now has worked with a team of volunteers to organize the school's archives.

"Your history is connected with their history."

As a result, The Maintenance, Construction and Skilled Trades Council, the union representing the TDSB's custodians and maintenance workers, came forward with a $9,000 donation.

More than 80 past and present students and school supporters have donated $11,000 to the cause.

"A lot of people sent in money because they feel some sort of connection to Malvern," Masemann said, noting two donors (Chris Commins and Shirley Jones) are the direct descendants of two of the men inscribed on the statue.

"A lot of people wrote some very meaningful notes."

Longtime Beacher Chris Commings, whose uncle William Kennedy Commings is one of the 25 Malvern students who died during the First World War, said he couldn't be happier the monument is being restored to its former glory.

"Our family was delighted to make a contribution to help. We've got Nov. 4 circled on our calendar. It should be a wonderful ceremony," he said, crediting Masemann for leading the charge on the fundraising.

"My Uncle Bill wrote a series of wonderful letters from France to his family in the Beach. These have been preserved, and reading them again 90 years after they were written makes me proud of what he (and Commins' Uncle Chester - a Riverdale Collegiate graduate - who was also killed during The Great War) sacrificed, and proud that the wonderful community my family lived in 100 years ago will be honouring his memory."

The TDSB has also contributed $8,000 to repair the base of the statue.

The icing on the cake was the recent approval of a $14,000 grant from the federal government's Cenotaph/Monument Restoration program.

"I commend the Toronto District School Board for its efforts in preserving the memory of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Supporting memorial restoration projects is one way the Government of Canada ensures our veterans are remembered," said Thornhill MP Peter Kent, the recently appointed minister of the environment, in a Jan. 16 release.

Jean-Pierre Blackburn, minister of veterans affairs and minister of state (agriculture), agreed in the same press release.

"It is our sacred duty to remember and honour the brave men and women in uniform who serve Canada so selflessly. Our veterans have fought for our freedoms and these cenotaphs are symbols of their accomplishments. It is gratifying to know that younger generations have special places like these to reflect on our country's history."

Masemann said an additional $10,000 must still be raised to purchase a surveillance camera and lighting to ensure the statue isn't damaged.

To donate, send a cheque to the Onward Malvern Foundation (with War Memorial in the memo line) to War Memorial Fund, Malvern CI, 55 Malvern Ave., Toronto, ON, M4E 3E4. Tax receipts will be issued for all donations more than $10.