Student restores monument at Port Ryerse Memorial Church

Emma Smout beside the Port Ryerse historical monument the Simcoe Composite School student restored in exchange for high school volunteer hours.
Emma Smout beside the Port Ryerse historical monument the Simcoe Composite School student restored in exchange for high school volunteer hours.

By Heather Walters

EMMA Smout, a grade 10 student at Simcoe Composite School, spent a large part of the summer of 2021 restoring the lettering on a monument of historical significance located in the side yard of Memorial Church, Port Ryerse.

Since the monument was erected 27 years ago, the lettering inscribed into the stone had become unreadable. The SCS student took on the challenge of repainting each letter, a tedious task that required patience and a steady hand.



Community member Jack Addison stated that the cost to have this lettering repainted was beyond any available funds.

When Emma Smout offered to repaint the lettering on the monument in exchange for volunteer hours, Mr Addison gladly took her up on it. He obtained the special paint required and provided any other necessary supplies she needed.

The monument in the side yard of the Port Ryerse Memorial Church was installed 27 years ago.

The restoration took a total of 17 hours to complete. Emma stated that she enjoyed working on the project, taking advantage of favourable weather conditions to do so.

In order to graduate, students typically must complete 40 hours of volunteer time. However due to Covid-19 and its many restrictions, the requirement for hours was reduced to 20. By immersing herself in this restoration challenge, Emma has nearly fulfilled that requirement.

The monument was installed in 1994 during Port Ryerse’s 200th year anniversary in recognition of the historical significance of the village of Port Ryerse in the beginnings and the growth of Norfolk County.

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