Rock Wall Society to unveil bronze plaques to honour masons

The stonemasons who built Trail's rockwalls will be honoured Sunday at 1pm in Gyro Park

The stonemasons who helped give Trail the feeling of old Italy with traditional rock walls are being honoured for their work this weekend.

The Rock Wall Entusiastico Society are hosting a ceremony on Sunday in Gyro Park for the big reveal of bronze plaques commemorating the masons who worked from the 1920s to the 1960s, building stone walls around the city.

“They did the grunt work by building hundreds of rock walls in town,” said Eileen Pedersen of the society. “Some of the walls are huge, dry, rock walls that hold up our major roads and people like that don’t usually get recognized. They are usually in the background. The walls are works of art and the stonemasons are not only masons, but artists as well.”

The idea for commemorative plaques was brought up in the society a few years ago, and then the hunt for funding began. Pedersen says she is grateful the plaques are ready to be hung and enjoyed by residents.

“We started thinking about the plaques a few years ago and began to apply for grants to pay for them two or three years ago,” she said. “It has been slow going, but finally, this past year, we got all that we needed. We are just so excited that we have them done. They are really beautiful plaques.”

The ceremony begins at 1 p.m. in the gazebo in Gyro Park and Pedersen says anyone and everyone are welcome to come and hear about the stonemasons, their hard work, and even munch on a little bit of celebratory cake.

“The community is definitely welcome,” she said. “We are going to have a couple of speakers, but we aren’t going to drone on or anything like that. We will be acknowledging the masons are still around and we are also inviting all of the families of the other stonemasons that aren’t with us. There will also be cake and it will be really good cake.”

The afternoon event will also feature two of the finished plaques for viewing. There are 10 other plaques placed on rock walls along walking routes such as the Rigatoni Ramble, the Lasagna Loop and the Linguine Linger. To get a map of the rock wall walking routes, to see the plaques hung on the stonemasons’ handiwork, visit www.trail.ca.

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