Rededication of VON Memorial Garden at Centennial Park

VON Memorial Garden in Sarnia's Centennial Park. September 18, 2019. (Photo courtesy of Remy Boulbol)

Victorian Order of Nurses (VON) Sarnia-Lambton will rededicate its memorial wall at Centennial Park Friday night.

Brass plaques, bearing the names of hundreds of people, were stolen last fall.

Spokesperson Remy Boulbol said they’ve spent the past year raising $20,000 to rebuild and replace the wall in granite.

“We’ve redesigned it in a way so that we can add all of the names that were there, which was just over 1,800 names, and we can add new names — we’re adding about 50 on — for family members and friends who we’ve lost across Sarnia-Lambton this year,” said Boulbol. “We’ve got more space to add more names that will continue to be etched onto the granite as we move forward so that it will remain a long-standing space where we can remember.”

Boulbol said people are comforted by the quiet space surrounded by gardens.

“There’s one woman who lost her husband and his name is memorialized up on the wall. But, instead of going to the cemetery where it makes her a bit more sad, she goes to the memorial garden and sits every morning, with her two coffees, as she did with her husband when he was here.”

Boulbol said every family member of every person memorialized on the wall has been invited to the event, along with members of Sarnia City Council and other community partners.

Over 200 people are expected to attend the ceremony that begins at 6:30 p.m.