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Hugh O’Neil Friendship Garden breaks ground

September 26, 2016 Trenton– Donna O’Neil is surrounded by family and committee members that worked on the design. Construction begins soon. [1]

Sept. 26, 2016. Trent Port Marina– Donna O’Neil holds the plaque commemorating her late husband. She is surrounded by family and committee members who worked on the design. Photo by Dan Taylor, QNet News.

By Lindsey Harren [2] and Dan Taylor [3]

QUINTE WEST – A groundbreaking ceremony for the Hugh O’Neil Friendship Garden was held Monday next to the Trenton Port Marina.

Former Liberal MPP, Hugh O’Neil was an active member of the community before and after his time as an MPP.

The Hugh O’Neil Friendship Garden Committee is attempting to raise around $50,000 to pay for the garden. That money will come from independent donations from across the area, and beyond. Fundraising for the project started last summer. So far, $35,000 has been raised. Quinte West city council previewed and approved the proposed design during a council meeting on September 6th.

Modern Earthscapes Land Design and Campbell Monument Company are constructing the project. Work is set to begin this October and take three to four weeks. The memorial design includes a centrepiece with a picture of O’Neil, two benches, and five stone pillars. Each pillar will highlight his legacy as a volunteer, family man, educator, politician and entrepreneur. The surrounding garden will blend in with the existing style of the Roy Bonisteel Memorial. [4] The Hugh O’Neil Friendship Garden [5]will have the same stone and walkway design as the Roy Bonisteel Memorial.

QNet News was there for the groundbreaking ceremony and the reception that followed. More to come.