MOREWOOD – Ahead of a centennial celebration set for this hamlet’s distinctive war memorial, the caretakers of the site are looking to use a little more than elbow grease to makeover the grounds.

At North Dundas’ Tues., Nov. 12 council meeting, Morewood cenotaph committee members Reg Murphy and Bill Smirle laid out a refurbishment plan that is set go ahead in time for the July 2021 100th anniversary.

By the time of the First World War’s conclusion on Nov. 11, 1918, an armistice between the allied countries and central powers having been signed, more than 60,000 Canadians had been killed in the conflict.

Countless communities throughout the country soon erected memorials in order to never forget those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.

Morewood was no different. In 1919, a committee comprised of Albert Glasgow, Hector Carruthers, Allan Smirle, William Bouck, and Albert Countryman signed a contract with JP Laurin Monuments of Ottawa to construct a cenotaph to honour those area men killed serving their country.

Morewood’s cenotaph during the November 2019 Remembrance Day ceremony.

The Royal Canadian Legion’s Chesterville branch, as well as other groups and individuals donated funds to help with the memorial’s construction. The Glasgow family, meanwhile, commissioned a statue of Capt. Ernest Glasgow, which sits atop the cenotaph’s four granite slabs.

The memorial was officially dedicated in early July 1921, and after both the Second World and Korean War ended plaques commemorating those from the area who served were added.

Now comes plans for an ambitious overhaul of the site.

First up in general maintenance of the cenotaph, removing 100 years of dirt and repointing and parging areas that have been identified. The expected cost is $3,500.

Number two on the list is straightening out the warped plaque and drilling new mounting holes, and also adding the name of Priv. Maurice Ogden Cheney, who was killed in the First World War. Another $3,300 will be needed for that work.

By far the most ambitious aspect of the rehabilitation is the fallen soldier portrait project. The names of 20 soldiers killed in action are featured on the memorial’s two plaques, and today’s committee members are looking to put a face to each of them with etched portraits. An exact layout on the cenotaph has yet been determined, though it is expected the project will cost $44,000.

A new flagpole is also to be erected, totalling $3,200.

The group is also hoping to run hydro to the memorial, hooking into to the town supply and allowing for the addition of LED lighting. Costing for this aspect of the project has yet to be completed.

In all, the currently priced out work totals $54,000, while North Dundas has been asked to put in $6,000 and SD&G has been pitched for $7,000.

“We believe we will not only raise the money, but will have extra,” Smirle said.

Reg Murphy (right) is a longtime member of the village’s cenotaph committee, and a retired member of Canada’s military. Uhrig Photos