January 11, 2018 6:09 pm
Updated: January 11, 2018 7:09 pm

$7K needed to construct fence near Westray Miners Memorial, family hoping to stop vandalism

The brother of a man killed in the Westray Mining disaster is trying to raise $7,000 to build a fence along one side of a memorial park as a way to stop vandalism. Natasha Pace reports.


Westray Miners Memorial Park in New Glasgow, N.S., has a special place in Allen Martin’s heart.

“Lots of times I come down here, I’ll just sit on the monument and have thoughts of Glenn,” he said.

READ: Westray tragedy to be marked, 25 years later: ‘A uniquely Nova Scotian story and tragedy’

Allen Martin’s brother, Glenn Martin, was one of 26 miners that died during the Westray mine explosion on May 9, 1992, two days before his 36th birthday.

“This place means a great deal to me and my wife and my family,” said Martin.

“My brother’s body was never recovered so this is where we go to pay our respects.”

Glenn Martin was one of the workers who died in the Westray mine disaster.

Courtesy: Allen Martin

Martin is one of the caretakers of the Westray Miners Memorial Park.  He says the area has had issues over the years, like people littering – but is now dealing with a new problem.

“At the moment, people are driving across our lawn, digging up the sod, causing ruts,” said Martin.

“The concern is people disrespecting the park and causing damage which causes us great expense and no end of irritation. It seems like we go from one incident to another and it’s all just common sense. It’s things that you wouldn’t expect people to do but they do it.”

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Martin says the park has installed new lighting, signage and even a gate but people continue to drive where they aren’t supposed to.

The park is located next to a school and Martin says some parents are part of the problem.

“They come up here to pick up their kids after school, they park on the grass, it digs up the sod, I have to repair it,” he said.

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The Warden for Pictou County says the majority of people in the area have a great deal of respect for the memorial park.

But has this message for people who aren’t respecting it.

“This means too much to the public and Pictou County, to think twice before you do something like that,” said Robert Parker, Municipality of Pictou County Warden.

“It’s so valuable to this county that you really don’t want to be doing that so just think twice before you do.”

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As for Martin, he plans to build a fence around one side of the park to prevent vehicles from driving over the grass.

He has launched a GoFundMe Page to help with the $7,000 price tag.

“We are hoping to raise enough money to pay for the fence and to relieve some of the pressure on our bank account,”said Martin.

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