Funding in place to redo Cache Bay cenotaph

There were a lot of smiling faces in Cache Bay last week at the site of the old Cenotaph, as local residents got the news that Veterans Affairs Canada and the Caisse Alliance were contributing a total of $29,225 to erect a new monument. Shown are WN Mayor Kathleen Thorne Rochon, project initiator Diane Baronette, MP Marc Serré, and Julie St-Jean, VP Caisse Alliance.

Isabel Mosseler


Diane Baronette was beaming last week, June 29, as the project she worked for so diligently, replacing and refurbishing the Cenotaph in Cache Bay, came to fruition with $14,225 in funding from Veterans’ Affairs Canada and an additional $15,000 donation from Caisse Alliance. The project was a dream of the Cache Bay United Club 50, and Baronette took it on. “I’m the one who started this project when I joined the club last year,” she told the crowd assembled on site. “This was really, really high on their priority list to get it done, so I was really happy to be able to help. And today, well, it’s not done, but it will be done. I have a timeline to have it done before Remembrance Day.”

The existing monument has been removed and will be replaced by a new monument. The bronze plaque will be refurbished and reinstalled, and the flagpole will be replaced. Enhanced lighting will be installed around the Cenotaph for visibility and security. “There’s going be two benches, so people can sit and see it and we’ll try to get flowers going.”

Baronette introduced Nickel Belt MP Marc Serré, who spoke on behalf of Veterans’ Affairs. “Some of you know Cache Bay is dear to my heart – my mother was raised here… I get to make an announcement about the money, but you’ve done all the work, you prepared the proposal, you got some of the partnerships,” he acknowledged. Several community partners will be contributing products and services, from the design work to the cement pad. “[Diane Baronette] mentioned Remembrance Day… when we look at recognizing our soldiers for the sacrifice they’ve made in the World Wars and in the recent wars, but also a lot of the peace-keeping that they’ve done all over the world, and not only all over the world, but the forest fires, the floods and the pandemic – they’ve really helped. … The military, they’re there to protect and serve us. It’s really important that we recognize them on Remembrance Day, and let’s not forget year-round.”

That theme was picked up by West Nipissing Mayor Kathleen Thorne Rochon. “I’m really, really happy to be here today to mark the funding announcement for this great project. Diane [Baronette] was one of the first people who contacted me after the election in regards to this project and I thought it was just such a great opportunity. The people of Cache Bay are proud of their community and having this new monument to the soldiers from Cache Bay who served will be a focal point for that.” She commended both Serré for his support and the Caisse Alliance. “It doesn’t matter whether it’s in Field or in Verner or here, every time something good is happening and that the work has been put in by our residents, the Caisse comes out to support 100%, and that is an invaluable partnership for all of the community groups… The United Club 50 here in Cache Bay and the Legion, thank you so much for finding a project so close to your heart and then really putting in the work to find the funding and make it happen… Any time that there is a group in our community of residents who are putting in the work and the effort to make our places better to live, I will show up and I will do what I can to support those efforts.”

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