Ojibwa construction starts off with a bang!
It was an exciting day in Port Burwell Tuesday as representatives of the Elgin Military Museum and local dignitaries took part in the Groundbreaking Ceremony for Project Ojibwa. “We are all excited that this day has finally arrived”, said Museum Board member Jeff Booth. “Seeing work begin on the site suddenly makes it all seem very real.”
The groundbreaking began with a big bang when Project Coordinator Dan McNeil, Rear Admiral ret’d. set off his miniature starter’s cannon to signal the start of the construction program. After all the work and struggles, it came down to a simple shout, “Let’s get started”, from a happy McNeil.
Several local dignitaries took part including MP Joe Preston, Jeff Yurek, MPP, and from Bayham Mayor Paul Ens, Deputy Mayor Mark Taylor and Port Burwell Councillor Tom Southwick. “This project will be a great economic booster for the Municipality of Bayham,” stated MP Preston. “I know that September 8th will be a very rewarding day as the Elgin Military Museum and the many supporters of this project watches the boat come into the harbour.”
Lynn Acre spoke on behalf of the Museum Board. She is noted for the pivotal role she played in securing Ojibwa for Port Burwell when she was Mayor of Bayham. “I can’t wait to see her entering the harbour in September,” smiled Acre.
The regional excitement about Ojibwa was captured by local MPP Jeff Yurek when he said, “In addition to bringing history to the area, the Ojibwa will also be a catalyst for rebuilding the tourist industry in the area”. Construction of the foundation will start next week. “From now on you will see a lot of activity here,” said McNeil.
Weather cooperating, Ojibwa is scheduled to leave Halifax this Saturday to begin her journey to Hamilton. “Once she is on that drydock, floating out of Halifax harbour, I will truly know that she is ours”, said Ian Raven, Museum Executive Director. Ojibwa will be placed on the permanent foundation on September 8.