Exeter and District Heritage Foundation informs council of cemetery fence project


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SOUTH HURON – The Exeter and District Heritage Foundation has successfully raised funds for a new fence for the Exeter Public Cemetery and would like to move forward with the first phase of the project.

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Heritage Foundation members Joanne Bowen, Bob Heywood and Bruce Shaw appeared at the South Huron council meeting on April 19 to update councilors on their fundraising progress. As previously reported, the municipality removed the cemetery’s wrought iron fence in 2018 due to its dilapidated state. In 2019, the Heritage Foundation announced plans to raise funds for a new fence.

At last week’s council meeting, Heritage Foundation chairman Heywood said $117,465.47 had been raised so far, including a $25,000 bequest to the municipality from the Noble family , proceeds from bracelets made by Martha Heywood, as well as the sale of heritage calendars and photo collages of southern Huron communities.

Heywood explained that in September 2021, the Foundation met with South Huron Fire and Community Services Director Jeremy Becker to discuss aspects of the new fence, including which product design and material would be preferable. for long-term maintenance and durability of the fence.

“If we’re going to put up a fence, we want it to be user-friendly, especially with the lawn mowing and trimming going on,” Heywood said.

He said the group would like to see the first phase of the project, which would consist of a new fence erected along Highway 83 in front of the cemetery, go ahead, and the Foundation is asking the municipality to issue appeals for offers for the first phase. The second phase would see a fence erected along the airport line.

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“We had a lot of people who gave very generously,” Heywood said. “It’s been going on for two years now and it would be nice for them to see something materialize with their donations.”

Chief Executive Dan Best thanked the group for their work, describing their fundraising efforts as “an incredible number”. He told the board that staff will speak to the Heritage Foundation and come back with a report for the next meeting so the board can make a decision on the way forward.

In other Heritage Foundation news, Bowen said the group hopes to launch a launch celebration for the cemetery fence replacement project at the Exeter Legion on June 12 from 1-4 p.m. Plans include historical exhibits and guest speakers.

“I hope this will be a fun, COVID-free trip down memory lane to learn more about the great stories of our community and to promote the cemetery fence project,” Bowen said.

Additionally, the group is looking forward to Exeter’s one hundred and fiftieth anniversary in 2023 and have requested the council’s help in forming a steering committee to work on special community events to celebrate Exeter’s 150th anniversary.and anniversary. Bowen said the Heritage Foundation is hoping for the participation of service organizations, schools and youth groups, and that the BIA of Exeter and the South Huron Chamber of Commerce have already provided verbal support for the project.

Councilors Ted Oke and Aaron Neeb, along with Mayor George Finch, thanked the Heritage Foundation for the work they have done. Neeb referred to the heritage columns that were published in the Times-Advance and said it was important for community members to know about the past and learn from it.

“It’s an important part of creating a place and making our community unique,” Neeb said.

He agreed with the idea of ​​completing the fence project in phases.


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