Wrought iron monument for Amber Kirwan
Memorial on trail designed as place to reflect on life of Amber Kirwan
Designs for a wrought-iron monument were unveiled Thursday in memory of a 19-year-old Pictou County woman whose death gripped the community last fall.
A private citizens committee, along with the Town of New Glasgow, unwrapped a design of a monument that will be placed along the Samson Trail in memory of Amber Kirwan.
“Amber’s gravesite is a place for her family and close friends to have their private moments with her; the monument will be a place for the community to remember. People wanted a place to go to show respect, say a prayer, or to just sit silently remembering Amber,” said Mariea Leil-Bowser, who ran a volunteer centre when Kirwan was missing and spearheaded the monument committee. “This monument is being done not only for Amber, but for every other victim who was brutally murdered and to also remind people to not walk alone and to be careful at night.”
Kirwan left Dooly’s Pool Hall in New Glasgow on Oct. 9, 2011, and disappeared a short time later. An extensive search consisting of the New Glasgow Police Service, the RCMP, Pictou County Search and Rescue and rescue teams from fire departments throughout the county as well as local residents, took place in Pictou County. On Nov. 6, RCMP and New Glasgow Police Service officials confirmed that Kirwan’s remains were found in Heathbell, Pictou County, and immediately launched a homicide investigation. On May 17 an arrest and charges were made in connection with the case.
Darren Martin, owner of Creative Metals, will be building and donating the monument while other partners include Kris Stewart who will do the stonework for the base of the monument and the masonry work will be by MacIvor and Stewart Masonry. Granite portions are being provided by Robert Simpson from Arsenault Monuments and two benches will be provided by the Leil Family and Investors Group.
All the landscaping needs, including flowers and greenery, will be donated by Proudfoots Home Hardware.
The location of the monument was chosen by committee members, town representatives as well as Kirwan’s parents.
“The reason we chose the location that we did on the trail is because it’s up off the trail on a beautiful hill with a view of the water that is breathtaking, just like Amber was,” Leil-Bowser said. “Amber often walked the Sampson trail as her home is close to the trail.”
She said the location is tranquil and will give people a quiet place to reflect on this young girl’s life and to pay tribute to a community that came together in a time of darkness.
“Our community came together to help find Amber and bring her home. We in turn want to give back to the community for all of the support in bringing her home,” said Leil-Bowser. “Let’s not see the monument as a sad reminder of what happened to Amber, but rather as a memorial meant to remind our community of the beautiful and special person Amber was and to always be careful no matter where you are.”
Leil-Bowser said work on the monument will begin immediately and the committee hopes to have it in place by Oct. 9 which would be the one year anniversary of Kirwan’s disappearance.