Family, friends and anyone needing to rest awhile, now have an inviting place to take in the picturesque view of the Trent Severn while remembering the life of Mr. Quinte.
The Hugh O’Neil Friendship Garden was unveiled before O’Neil’s many family members, friends, dignitaries and the public Saturday morning.
O’Neil died in September 2015 at the age of 79. He served as Liberal member for the former Quinte riding for 20 years, from 1975 to 1995.
The garden sits nestled between the Trent Port Marina and the Roy Bonisteel memorial.
The main feature of the $80,000 garden is a monument with a picture of O’Neil and the inscription ‘Hugh O’Neil Garden, come my friends and rest awhile.’ There are flowers, greenery and a bench area to complement it. The memorial also showcases a compass symbolizing leadership and direction. Five marble pillars surround the garden recognizing O’Neil’s many roles and telling the story of his life as a family man, educator, entrepreneur, statesman, and community volunteer.
Thanking the garden committee for their dedication over the past year, Andre Ypma of Modern Earthscapes Land Design for the design and the public for attending, O’Neil’s wife Donna said it’s overwhelming to see the project come to fruition.
Former Quinte West mayor John Williams said the word friendship in the memorial is fitting to those who knew and loved O’Neil.
Both Donna O’Neil and Williams commended and thanked Trenton Councillor Duncan Armstrong for his tireless efforts and dedication in seeing the project through to completion. “We couldn’t have done it without you Duncan,” Donna O’Neil beamed. Armstrong proudly called it, ‘a labour of love for the man who proudly served the community.’