New Brunswick

Stolen fountainhead from King's Square bandstand found

The mayor of Saint John got good news on Thursday morning when the missing piece of the newly-refurbished King's Square bandstand showed up in his office.

City workers found refurbished century-old copper fountainhead in another fountain

The stolen fountainhead from the newly-renovated King's Square bandstand has been found, says Saint John Mayor Mel Norton.

"Massive thanks to Jeremy Kilpatrick (fountainhead finder) and Mark [Kincade], foreman!" Norton Tweeted on Thursday morning, just one day after making a passionate plea for its safe return.

Kilpatrick and fellow city workers were draining the Beaver Fountain at the nearby Loyalist Burial Grounds for cleaning when they discovered the century-old fountainhead at the bottom, Norton told CBC News.

Kilpatrick turned it over to his foreman.

"Mark Kincade personally delivered it to the eighth floor of our city hall to the mayor's office," Norton said.

Thieves made off with the copper fountainhead, which dates back to 1908, some time over the weekend, just days after the refurbished bandstand was unveiled with great fanfare.

On Wednesday, the mayor held a news conference. "This is more than just taking of a copper fountainhead. This is a violation of the entire citizenry of this city. And we want that object back," he had said.

"It belongs to the people of this city. It's part our culture and our heritage. And it's symbolic of the true change happening in this city."

Norton says he has no idea whether the fountainhead had been in the Beaver Fountain all along, or whether someone put it there after his plea for its return.

He's just happy to have it back, he said.

The city's cultural affairs officer, Bernard Cormier, agrees.

"Whoever was responsible for taking the fountainhead, thank you for not damaging it! We are grateful for its safe return," Cormier posted on twitter.

The city is now planning to install video surveillance cameras around the bandstand. Norton says they've already been ordered.

The $100,000-renovation project included a new granite fountain, a shiny copper roof, fresh paint and upgraded electrical work.

Businessman John Irving and Dr. Richard Currie donated the money for the refurbishment.