MOUNT UNIACKE, N.S. - A total of 159 Canadian soldiers died during the war in Afghanistan. One of those, Pte. John Curwin, was killed by a roadside bomb in 2008.
Ten years later, Curwin, who grew up in Mount Uniacke, now has a monument dedicated to him and his fellow fallen soldiers right in the heart of the community he called home.
The monument, emblazoned with decorative swords and a plaque bearing his name, was unveiled by Curwin’s three children during a ceremony in June 2018 as people applauded, many with tears in their eyes.
Three red maple trees were also planted nearby to honour local community members Eddy Chater, Reg Dalrymple, and Councillor Cyril McDonald — all of whom passed away in recent years.
Cathy Samms, an organizer of the park dedication, said the community had been working on the project for more than a year.
“After losing some special community members, a group of community members wanted to find a way to remember them,” Samms said. “We decided it would be nice to rename the park to the Mount Uniacke Community Memorial Park and make a special dedication to Pte. John Curwin.”
The monument was built and donated by Livingstone, a local company that operates in the Mount Uniacke Business Park. They also donated a granite bench.
The swords were made and donated by the Nova Scotia Blacksmith Association.
“We had so many people in our community donate, not only their time and resources but also their sweat and tears,” she said.
“One of our councillors, at the inception of this, was Cyril MacDonald. He lost his battle to cancer only months prior to the event. He was very motivating at getting the ball rolling. And after his passing, we couldn't let him down,” Samms continued.
“The park is enjoyed by many and offers a happy place to go reflect on its beauty and remember the people who helped shape Mount Uniacke into what it is,” she said. “John was our own fallen solider and we needed a place for him to be remembered.”