Lansdowne memorial plaques need better location, veteran says

In this photo provided by Chris Buczynski, a plaque honouring the war dead is on the wall outside a washroom at the Lansdowne Community Hall. Buczynski says the plaques need a better location, something council is looking to change. (Chris Buczynski via Newswatch Group)

LANSDOWNE – A veteran from Leeds and the Thousand Islands says a set of war memorial plaques next to a washroom of the Lansdowne Community Hall needs a better location.

Chris Buczynski, who served 35 years including a tour in Afghanistan, was hoping to make a presentation to council in March. But due to a time mix up he wasn’t able to make a deputation.

He says the plaques should be taken down and moved to a better location for two reasons.

“Number one, the names of the fallen shouldn’t be co-located by a washroom. Totally unacceptable. Number two, the record of the men who have died are on those plaques but we should also recognize that it was women’s institutes who paid for these memorial plaques,” Buczynski told Brockville Newswatch.

He says “as a sign of respect” the plaques should be taken down in the interim at the Jessie Street building.

As for a better location, Buczynski says either the cenotaph being built or another space in the building would be fine. “Going into the building, the front of the building, that works for me,” he said.

Leeds and the Thousand Islands Township Mayor Joe Baptista says the municipality will be looking into it and a report, asked for during that March meeting, will be coming back to council.

“Oh absolutely, we recognize at the time it was put in there that was what they deemed to be the appropriate location but I think, moving forward, we need to recognize the importance of the contribution and get a more appropriate location,” Baptista told Brockville Newswatch.

The mayor believes other organizations “might come into play” and may be involved to find an interim location before a new community center is built.

“Council was pretty clear that we need to make sure we honour our veterans…now and into the future. Council is right on top of this and once we get the report from staff we can figure out what we can do either in the interim and then long term.”