Lasting impressions from the people that will end up paying for the pier that is far from on time and even further from being on budget.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON, ON October 20, 2012   Burlington invited elementary students from across the city to take part in a draw that would have seven of them take part in a Lasting Impressions ceremony at Spencer Smith Park to commemorate the milestones that mark the building of the Brant Street Pier.

Few of those seven young people have any idea as to what they were taking part in on a chilly Saturday afternoon.  With the pier still under construction in the background, seven of the 444 people who entered the draw to be participants in the Lasting Impression project sat to have their pictures taken.

Each of these seven secured a bolt in a plate that will be part of the pier structure. They also had their hand prints taken which will become part of a “Lasting Impression” that will be on permanent public display when the pier is opened, which will be, according to the Mayor, “sometime in 2013”  A proud parent sits behind each participant.

Once they were introduced each of the seven inserted a large bolt into a metal plate that will be placed on the pier later in the week.

Brooklyn Humphries, 9, puts her signature on the plate into which she had tightened a bolt that will be used in the construction of the pier.  She was one of seven young people who took part in a ceremony that created “Lasting Impressions”

While the plate with the seven bolts in it will get covered with concrete, it is still there for eternity, which for this pier is said to be about 75 years.

The city wanted there to be something more public and so they had each of the young people get their hands coated in ink and a hand print made with their signature on the sheet of paper as well.

Evan Sebok’s  Mom gives him some help getting a signature on the sheet of paper with his hand prints on it.

The imprints will be digitally manipulated  to produce a hand print that will be part of pedestal that will be set out on the pier where the millions that visit the site will get to see it.

The objective is to have each of the children create a print of their hands in a plaster mold that would then be used to create hand prints that would be mounted on a podium when the pier is officially opened.

The city is now at the point where news on the  progress on the pier seems to be consistently good but the Mayor has learned not to trap himself into a date and now says that the pier “will be completed sometime in 2013”.

Craig Stevens, city project manager for the pier and Mayor Goldrin, the man who takes all the political heat for the project delay, met with two of seven young people who placed a bolt in a steel plate that will be used in the construction of the pier.

No mention was made of the $15 million + that the city has spent so far on the project nor did the Mayor tell those seven young people that they will be the ones paying for the pier for many years to come.

The city hosted Lasting Impressions, a draw that attracted 444 entries from children aged four to 13. The seven chosen children, youngest to oldest, one from each ward and one to represent the Mayor were: Evan Sebok, 4; Charlie Sibley, 6;  Carter Needham, 7;  Brooklyn Humphries, 9; Grace Hodgson, 10; Logan Szyiko, 10 and  Eva Moreau, 11.

They probably have no idea just where those hand prints are going to go and how many people will see them.

Creating the event was really very creative on the part of the city.  And they moved very quickly to revise a good idea that didn’t turn out to be possible into an idea that was very possible.

Anyone who was at the ceremony could have had their hands inked and made in impression on a large piece of canvas that will be on display in a city building.

While the seven hand prints will become a part of the pier there will also be a large canvas that had the hand prints of the members of the public that were watching the ceremony.  The canvas will probably get placed somewhere in city hall.  The turnout wasn’t very large.  There had been some rain earlier in the day – the public doesn’t show up for things like that all that often.


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