A quiet unveiling of Trail’s newest statue was a relief for a couple volunteers who’ve been plugging away at the project for a year.
“It’s long overdue, we thought we’d be done this by August,” said Bruno DeRosa, who along with fellow retired Teck worker Leo Ganzini came up with the stonemason piece.
With a small crew of volunteers and city workers, the statue representing Trail’s historical stone work was erected Tuesday.
The design of the eight-foot-tall bronze statue was created in DeRosa’s Trail basement.
With years of experience in the casting business, the 75-year-old made his archived references come to life by crafting a miniature model.
But he still insists the project “was not a one-man job.”
In search for the best price, his concept was sent to China where the piece was created along with two other design elements for the $25,000 development of the bank across from the Best Western Terra Nova.
Representing the role of sport in the development of Trail, the stonemason is flanked by a four-foot-tall granite hockey and ball player.
In addition to filling the bank, the sport pieces represent the artistry of the stonemason, resembling rough pieces of rock carved to perfection.
Working alongside DeRosa, Ganzini built the three bases for the statues.
The bricklayer by trade doesn’t mind putting in countless hours of volunteer time, if it’s doing something he loves.
“I did it all of my life, I retired 20 years ago but I still love doing it,” said the 79-year-old Montrose resident.
Originally intended to be complete last year, the placement of the statues was delayed due to a late season delivery and then winter conditions.
The crew was waiting for some good weather but decided to take advantage of help from the city’s John Harper, the boss on the site Tuesday who took orders, and electrician Shane Dixon.
The monument project is the third statue project supported by the City of Trail, which saves money by contracting the two skilled residents who volunteer their time. In 2009 a larger-than-life soldier depicting a First World War soldier was unveiled, following the introduction of the Family Statue in 2001.
“Again our city’s volunteers are showing their can-do attitude,” said Trail Mayor Dieter Bogs in a news release. “We are proud to have people like Bruno and Leo championing projects like this, especially when their work generates such a meaningful legacy for residents and visitors to enjoy.”
The statues represents Trail’s historical rock walls, which have been in the spotlight since local author Eileen Pederson wrote “Set in Stone: A History of Trail’s Rock Walls.”
The book released in 2008 was made possible with the help from members of the Rock Wall Entusiastico Society and those who shared their stories of Trail’s historical stonework.
“The idea of a statue honouring Trail’s stonemasons nicely compliments the work done by our society in bringing awareness and appreciation to these finely crafted heritage walls and to the strong, dedicated men who built them,” said Pederson. “The stonemason statue will be an ongoing visual reminder to the Greater Trail community that we have a very special legacy in our stonework. I hope visitors who drive by the statue near the busy intersection will recognize it as depicting our stonemasons, and will take time to wander back to the site to fully appreciate its significance.”