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North Sydney (NS) - May 2, 2010 – The Government of Canada’s assistance is helping to preserve and display North Sydney’s military history for the benefit of local residents and visitors.
A model of a Canso Seaplane and six interpretive panels depicting the Northside’s military history during both World Wars were unveiled at a dedication ceremony today at Munro Park. The event hosted by the Cape Breton County Economic Development Authority (CBCEDA), in partnership with Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM), Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation (ECBC), the Armstrong Memorial Branch 19 Royal Canadian Legion and the Bartown Community Society, brought together veterans and residents of all ages.
"Our government is pleased to work with communities to help them build on their strengths," said the Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of National Revenue, Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and Minister for the Atlantic Gateway. "The displays at Munro Park not only pay tribute to North Sydney’s military history, they add to the attractions already available in the community and provide visitors and residents an opportunity to remember the sacrifice made by those who serve their country at a time of war."
Kelly Beach (now Munro Park) was established as a base by the United States Navy during World War I for the protection of convoys that sailed out of Sydney Harbour. North Sydney’s seaplane base was originally located at Indian Beach, east of this location; however, in 1918, the base was moved to Kelly Beach, a site it occupied for the remainder of the war. During World War II, ten squadrons and detachments of the Royal Canadian Air Force flew out of Kelly Beach.
"As Canadians, we take pride in our long and illustrious military history and I commend the people of North Sydney for their efforts to recognize this community’s role in both World Wars," said the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence. "These wars touched the lives of Canadians of all ages, both overseas and here at home. It is important that we remember their sacrifice and courage."
A project to interpret the area’s role in supporting military efforts during both world wars was developed and managed by the CBRM and CBCEDA. The seaplane replica was created by metal fabricator Todd Vassallo, formerly of Cape Breton, and researched by Don Smith of the Phoenix Consultancy.
The total cost of the project is $82,744. ECBC has provided an investment of $42,744. The CBRM has provided $40,000.
Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation offers programs in support of economic development initiatives and is responsible for delivering ACOA’s programs on Cape Breton Island and in the Mulgrave area.