A Historical Tribute

 

By Joel Charron

Twelve hundred pounds of history has arrived in Amherstburg.

Essex County sculptor Mark Williams delivered two life like pieces of the Provincial Marine Monument Thursday morning.

The cast bronze pieces will be housed in the old Amherstburg Arena until the unveiling on Aug. 3 in Kings Navy Yard Park.

“It’s a very proud moment for the town,” said Anne Rota, Manager of Culture and Tourism. “We talk about our culture and our history, these two pieces will be the first to signify just what our history is all about and where we come from. It’s a very, very proud moment.”

The two bronze sculptures depict two men preparing a cannon, one of which is  an ordinary sailor arming a cannon while the other one is a gun commander holding a pistol up in the air, preparing to fire the cannon.  A cannon will be placed between the two sculptures to complete the scene.

Williams said it took roughly six months for him and his understudy Dick Wood to create the pieces.

 

Provinical Marine president David May and sculptor Mark Williams stand amongst the two sculptures that are to be displayed in King’s Navy Yard Park.

Williams has many pieces around Essex County/ Windsor that include the Lancaster bomber, Spitfire and Hurricane in Dieppe Gardens, the Ford Motor Company’s “Generations Monument” on Droullard Road and the Fireman’s Memorial in Dieppe Gardens, which will be unveiled sometime in 2012.

Williams said he was honoured to create the sculptors for the War of 1812 Bicentennial celebrations.

“It’s always an honour to do something like this,” Williams stated. “Just to be able to have this stuff out live me is pretty cool.”

Although making the sculptures followed the same process as every other sculpture he has made, Williams noted there were some “tricky” aspects in it’s creation, such as getting the proper colour of the jackets and the corduroys of the gun commander.

“The corduroys on this were a real challenge for the boys,” said Williams.

Provincial Marine president David May described the pieces as “exceptional” and was surprised that the pieces have colour.

“I was very surprised that they are coloured. I assumed that they were going to be straight bronzed,” said May. “The colour makes it so life like.”

May also was please with the detail of the sculptures.

“The detail on them is fantastic. He got the knives in the back, the powder horn, all the detail of the buttons; he even has part of the belt showing underneath the vest. It’s almost like I’m staring at myself when I’m in uniform,” stated May.

Rota said the cost of the two sculptures were approximately $100,000, which was funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.

Rota also added that two or three more pieces could be added to depict a “full crew,” depending on funding.

 

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