Mural unveiling winds up bicentennial projects

by Marie Williams-Gagnon, Transcript & Free Press
A year of preparation and months of celebrating Wardsville’s bicentennial wrapped up with the unveiling of a mural on the side of  the infamous Wardsville hill at the corner of Hagerty and Longwoods Rds. on Saturday morning, October 30.
Denise Corneil welcomed guests and explained that the barn quilt project and year-long celebration became a reality because of a $33,100 Federal Arts and Heritage Grant.  After the presentation of appreciation plaques to groups and individuals, Corneil noted that there were appro

ximately 2,500 hours of volunteer service put into the barn quilt project alone. The final barn quilt piece, a large mural, was unveiled.
The 16’ x 12’ mural was painted by artist Rick Sommer who was instrumental in directing the barn quilt project. The mural “The Spirit of George Ward” depicts Ward sitting in a boat on the Thames River, encompassing both the settlement of the pioneers in the early 1800s and the Battle of Longwoods.
The mural helps kick off the commemoration of the War of 1812 -1814 which has not yet officially begun. The year-long celebration has seen volunteers put hundreds of hours into various projects including:
• stitching a 30-block George Ward commemorative quilt which won second prize at the International Plowing Match in St. Thomas;
• painting 30 8’ x 8’ replica barn quilt blocks mounted on barns and important buildings throughout the Wardsville area;
• attracting “kith and kin” to the village for a rich musical and historical experience on Father’s Day weekend including the re-enactment of pioneer life in 1810; and
• photographing the citizens as part of the legacy project.
In addition to the local hands that worked tirelessly to make the celebration a reality, Corneil herself was recognized as being the catalyst to the year’s activities.
Marie Williams-Gagnon, Editor, Transcript & Free Press
Glencoe, Ontario  519-287-2615    tranfree@xcelco.on.ca
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