The plaques are back

By Nick Fonda
The plaques are back
Paul O'Donnell of the Richmond St. Patrick Society and Normand Pelletier of Usinatech in front of the Celtic cross with new aluminium plaques. (Photo : Courtesy)

The adage has it that in March, in Richmond, everyone is Irish, but sometimes that stretches well beyond a single month. Witness to this is the new plaque that was installed last summer on the Celtic cross that overlooks the St. Francis River from its spot next to the Mackenzie Bridge in Richmond’s Parc du Souvenir.

That a new plaque needed to be installed is a sad testament to the fact that plaques cast in bronze are prone to theft.

Plaques are installed by people who want to commemorate their forefathers, to pay homage to those to whom they owe their very existence. In this case, it was the Richmond St. Patrick’s Society that installed the Celtic Cross and the substantially sized brass plaques at its base, on which were listed the names of some 400 of the area’s early Celtic settlers—Irish, Scots, Welsh, and Bretons. The cross was erected as part of the celebration of the Society’s 125th anniversary celebrations in 2002. One of the plaques was installed in 2002 and the other in 2003.

It’s not known exactly when the plaques were stolen, but they were reported missing in the summer of 2018 by Kathleen Lynch who is a life-long member of the St. Patrick’s Society and who lives near the park.
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