Nova Scotia

Whitney Pier's Melting Pot monument to be replaced

A monument to European immigrants of multiple nationalities who came to work at the Sydney steel plant at the turn of the last century may have to be removed and replaced.

Weather takes toll on the metal flags representing 23 countries

The flags on the Melting Pot monument have faded in the elements. (George Mortimer/CBC)

A monument to European immigrants of multiple nationalities who came to work at the steel plant in Sydney at the turn of the last century may have to be removed and replaced.

The Melting Pot monument, as it's known, was built in 2010 to help celebrate the history of the Whitney Pier community and its people.

It was a project of the Whitney Pier Historical Society and the Melting Pot Society.

At its base is an actual melting pot once used at the steel plant. Standing in it are 23 metal flags representing the countries people came from to start a new life.

"It runs from Britain, Poland, eastern European countries, Italy," said historical society president George Dunn. "If you can throw a dart on a map of Europe, you're going to hit it."

Wear and tear

But the six-year-old flags have seen better days.

"The base of the monument is fine but the flags themselves … the weather has really taken a toll," said historical society volunteer Sandra Dunn. "They're faded. Some you can't even tell what they are."

Dunn says there are also high maintenance costs. He says the society is looking for something more permanent that will keep the historical message but withstand the forces of nature.

"We have a design concept for three monuments," he said. "Marble monuments about six-feet high.

"One would tell the whole story of the history of the Pier and two on the other side would list the countries that were involved." 

Dunn says fundraising efforts are now underway.

He says the society is hoping to have something new in place by summer at the site of the melting pot, next to the Whitney Pier fire station.