Sculptor surprised by inflammatory article, letters

 In Letters, Opinion

Editor:

We are indeed fortunate that so many people in and around Creemore are generous in supporting the community with their time and money.

The Station on the Green, the Horticultural Park and the Farmers’ Market are excellent examples of the success of this spirit.

My contribution was the Dress-up Dance sculpture in the Horticultural Park; four months of intensive work and about $65,000 of expense.

I also subsequently contributed several thousand dollars for a maintenance fund to protect the sculpture. I have been very pleased to do all this: my reward has been many compliments and knowing that the work has brought joy to many people.

Unfortunately the sculpture was allowed to deteriorate badly.

The maintenance fund somehow evaporated, presumably being absorbed into a general operating budget, and the maintenance program was inadequate, resulting in an unsightly build-up of calcium on the bronze.

My repeated requests for a clean-up were ignored and as recently as this May, the Station chairman wrote, “We may or may not tackle the statuary this year”.

So I had my lawyer send a letter seeking an assurance that the clean-up would be undertaken this summer.

It had the intended effect: an August clean-up schedule was developed, the restorer was retained and the township and Station affirmed their “commitment… to maintain the sculpture… in good display condition”.

We are now seeking a budgetary commitment to an effective maintenance program so that the problem does not occur again.

What did surprise me was the inflammatory front-page article in The Echo (“Fountain Sculptor Initiates Litigation”) and a couple of rather insulting letters from former Station board members, ignoring the issue of recent neglect and bizarrely and ironically denigrating my contribution while implying that I did not recognize others’ contributions of time and money.

Where did that come from?

But it’s not worth getting upset about. It’s time to cool down and move on.

Let’s all respect each others’ work and donations and nurture Creemore’s spirit of generosity.

And thanks to the township, the Station and volunteers for helping to keep the fountain going.

Ralph Hicks,

Mulmur.

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