Harbour Grace memorial wall organizer pleased by council’s approval

Project inspired by Quinn Butt currently in the works

Published on April 8, 2017

Quinn Butt.

©Facebook photo

HARBOUR GRACE — Elena Parsons-Katkic spoke up about why she felt a memorial wall inspired by Quinn Butt would be a welcome addition to Harbour Grace.

Katkic, a former resident of Harbour Grace now living in Ontario, said she was deeply affected by the story of Quinn Butt. Five-year-old Quinn died last year when a fire broke out in her father’s home on Hayden Heights in Carbonear. Her father, Trent Butt, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and arson charges.

Last year, Katkic organized a fundraiser in Quinn’s name, but felt that she could do more.

After seeing a similar memorial elsewhere, Katkic says she was inspired to propose a similar idea to the Town of Harbour Grace.

Council has recently approved Katkic’s suggestion. The wall will be in dedicated victims of domestic violence, an issue Katkic feels deserves more open discussion.

“This type of violence is happening all around us and we don't even know,” said Katkic. “To be in the 21st century and still have this to be viewed as a taboo topic to discuss is unacceptable in my eyes.”

Erecting the memorial, Katkic hopes, will encourage discussion of the subject. She says that by displaying such a memorial, people will hopefully feel more comfortable talking about issues regarding domestic violence, all while showing support for victims.

Katkic added that she hopes to see the memorial become a place for people to come and reflect, noting that this made the location of the memorial an important decision for the town.

An early stage idea of what the memorial wall may look like, along with leaf-shaped plaques.

Once the wall is built, it is planned to make it possible to people to purchase butterfly-shaped plaques, on which they can write the name of a loved one who has been affected by domestic violence.

Such things were discussed during a recent town council meeting in Harbour Grace, where Deputy Mayor Sonia Williams explained some basic plans for the wall.

Williams said that although nothing is set in stone, it may be possible for money from plaque purchases to be used as donations, or to be put towards any maintenance the memorial required, which she suspects would be very little.

After hearing that her suggestion had been approved, Katkic admitted she felt nothing short of amazed, and “extremely excited.”

“It truly is an honour to be a part of such wonderful project as I feel it will have a great impact on the town. I hope that the approval of this project will give victims the courage to seek help, knowing that they have a community standing behind them,” said Katkic.

The wall is still in the early stages of planning, and nothing is set in stone just yet. However, Katkic says they are currently in the process of finding a contractor willing to work with them on the wall’s design, an artist to paint the finished product, and a supplier for the plaques.

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Katkic added that anyone looking to stay up to date with the project’s progress could join the Facebook group titled Quinn’s Memorial Wall.

“Most importantly, I hope that (Quinn’s mother) finds some sort of strength in knowing that she has an army of strong women and men behind her, and I hope this wall will forever be a reminder that Quinn will never be forgotten.”

chris.lewis@tc.tc