A new St. John’s Terry Fox memorial, it’s about time.

Terry Fox dips his foot into the waters of St. John’s harbour to begin his Marathon of Hope.

A new memorial for Terry.

Now we are talking.

The recent news of an artist being selected to create a beautiful sculpture to honour Terry Fox’s start of his Marathon of Hope in St. John’s, Newfoundland is great news for the start of 2011.

Our constant readers know about our post almost two years ago in which we expressed our extreme disappointment with what currently stands as a memorial for Terry Fox in beautiful St. John’s. It turned out that some of you were disappointed too. Judging by the comments we received to that post and then subsequent email exchanges with some of you, you felt the same, the memory of our Canadian icon and hero deserved better.

The current Terry Fox memorial marker in St. John's. PHOTO BY: Vince Versace

Some of you mobilized yourselves and reached out to the Terry Fox Foundation and connections within Fox’s family to find out what could be done or was already underway. Others approached the Port Authority and the local municipal council. Your singular efforts surely bolstered initiatives already on their way to improve the memorial grounds. You all deserve kudos for caring enough to read, research and write. To act and reach out, in your own little ways, to make it known that a fitting tribute to where Fox started his Marathon of Hope would not just be a good thing to do but the right thing to do.

The Globe and Mail reports that Newfoundland artist Luben Boykov’s designs will include a roughly two-metre-high figure of Fox dipping his artificial right leg in the Atlantic Ocean, and a “sculpted land and water mass, representing a wave.”

A closer look at the current marker which recognizes where Fox started his Marathon of Hope. Though tasteful and thoughtful, it is hardly grand enough many say. PHOTO BY: Vince Versace

“There were many significant Marathon of Hope moments and locations as Terry ran across Canada in 1980 though there is only one place where Terry took his first step,” said Darrell Fox, in a statement. “Based on Luben’s past work and the Terry Fox Mile 0 submission we are confident he will capture the significance and excitement of the moment when Terry began his journey.”

In addition to the statue, improvements planned for the memorial site include landscaping, interpretive signage, and a Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada plaque commemorating Terry Fox as a person of national historic significance. Click here for some info on the bigger planned picture for the current Fox Mile 0 memorial area.

A conceptual drawing of the new Terry Fox Mile 0 memorial grounds on the Parks Canada website. Rendering: Frederick Hann Associates Ltd.

The City of St. John’s in association with Parks Canada, the St. John’s Port Authority and the Terry Fox family issued a request for proposals to local artists, art organizations and the local media on Oct. 29, 2010 for an outdoor sculpture to celebrate Fox’s legacy commemorate the start of his epic run.

The jury responsible for selecting the artist included representatives from Parks Canada, the Fox family and the local city, port authority, artists and others. Hearty congratulations to all those involved from these various groups, it is your grunt work, vision and persistence that have helped make this a reality.

A new memorial for Terry.

Now we are talking.


2 thoughts on “A new St. John’s Terry Fox memorial, it’s about time.

  1. Garth Elrick

    This is great news. We wrote to The Telegram, Danny
    Williams, and the PM’s office in August of 2009 at
    the end of our 11 week RV trip across Canada voicing
    displeasure with this memorial and the lack of info
    on even where to find it. Everyone replied including
    Heather Strong of the Nfld Terry Fox office and Fred
    Fox of the Terry Fox head office in Chilliwack, BC.
    Thanks to all for moving this into the spotlight and helping to motivate the political forces to work towards solving this together, especially Premier
    Danny Williams who most likely was the driving force.

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