From *Nuacht - May 2006
People in the News
By Kathleen Dunn
Isn’t it amazing how quickly things can happen when a group of enthusiastic, like-minded people get together such as those concerned with the St. Columban gravestone restoration project. Since their story appeared in the last issue of NUACHT (p.15), committee chair Fergus Keyes reports that Jeff Legault of Ottawa has revamped the initial attempt into an "absolutely terrific" website (www.stcolumban-irish.com). Kelley O’Rourke has done an "unbelievable" amount of research and she and Jeff will soon have it all on line, names, dates of birth and death, spouses, children, tombstones, pictures. Kelley and company also produced a publicity folder to raise awareness during the St. Patrick’s season. They carried a banner in the Parade, attended the Luncheon, spoke on various radio shows and were interviewed for newspaper articles. Meanwhile, Ken Neil has been looking into repairing and/or replacing tombstones, erecting monuments, and the possible costs involved. With her bilingual, bi-cultural background, Anne McLaughlin is interfacing with the St. Colomban Parish on the logistics of the project. Donations have fallen off since the flurry of activity in March so fundraising became a priority at the committee meeting on May 13th. Fergus says, "The growth of the whole thing is very interesting to watch. Originally, I just intended to have a page to perhaps meet a few other descendants, then the cemetery restoration project came along. Once this was finished, in a year or two, I thought that basically our job would be done. But now with the recent vandalism of the cemetery of nearby St. Canut and the vandalism of the little Catholic chapel at the Bonnibrooke Golf Course in St. Columban, there are many other possible projects to consider.
Also, Claude Bourguignon is discussing with the Town to set up a permanent Irish heritage display at City Hall. I guess the work of preserving the Irish heritage in St. Columban and the surrounding communities will likely go on and on for many years to come!!!" We’ll keep you posted.
*Nuacht, is the St. Patrick's Society's newsletter.