“The weather has not dampened our spirits,” said Marilyn (Meikle) Hunt, during a ceremony of gate rededication held at Knox Presbyterian Church in Morrisburg (due to rain) on Sunday, June 5.
In the presence of her husband Joe, friends and descendants of the Meikle family, some of whom had travelled a distance to be at the celebration, the stone gates, erected to the memory of John H. Meikle in 1913 at the Mount Pleasant Cemetery entrance, were formally rededicated.
The beautiful two-sided wrought iron gate, with its heavy stone work, was restored by Ralph Bouwman of Bouwman Construction, Cor-Tek Industrial Services & Steel Fabrication and Buster Sneath of Buster’s Backhoe. The restoration work took most of a year.
“On behalf of my sister Elizabeth MacDonald, who shared a deep interest in this project, whose husband John’s illness prevented her from joining us today, I thank you all,” said Marilyn Hunt.
“I am very glad to see so many Meikle cousins here, including Catherine and Bernie Diguer and their daughter, Kim.
This dedication is in memory of our great-great-uncle John, and of my parents and the members of the Meikle family. Our family has been part of this community for over 100 years. Many members of the family rest in this beautiful cemetery.”
Marilyn concluded her remarks by thanking those who had done the extensive restoration work, and the members of the Cemetery Board.
“We all hope the gates and the cemetery will be as beautiful and well kept as they are today in another 100 years,” she said.
Charlie Farlinger, who made an address at the rededication, thanked Marilyn for taking on the project and seeing it through.
“I was disappointed that we couldn’t do the rededication at the actual lovely gates,” he told an appreciative crowd, “but the Lord knows, we needed the rain. So I took this weather as a blessing on the event. And this is the church that John Meikle attended.”
Volker Gruetzner, chair of the Cemetery Board (which includes Jack Dikland, Neil Williams, Charlie Farlinger, Bob Howald and Ray Guindon) presented Marilyn Hunt with a special commemorative plaque at the service.
“This gate is part of the great story of Morrisburg,” Gruetzner said. “This beautiful gate will exist another hundred years, preserving our local history. The past should not be overlooked or forgotten.”
He, too, praised the dedication and efforts of Marilyn Hunt.
“Mrs Hunt was a generous contributor to the project… she was our angel.”
In his remarks, Rev. Feras Chamas reminded those gathered that St. Peter once referred to Christians as “living stones. We remember the past, yes, but we do not stay in the past. We are people of hope. We recognize the past, but we look to the future with hope.
We set these stones as stones of remembrance of God’s goodness to us. To the glory of God and to the memory of John H. Meikle, we rededicate this gate.”