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Memorial wall dedicated to Quinn Butt unveiled in Harbour Grace

The memorial wall features Quinn Butt’s face and signature, as well as the names of people affected by domestic violence.
The memorial wall features Quinn Butt’s face and signature, as well as the names of people affected by domestic violence. - Chris Lewis

Project serves as reminder of impacts of domestic violence

As Andrea Gosse joined with others to sing You Are My Sunshine, there were several tear-stained faces in the crowd, and people holding hands.

The song was one of the tunes chosen for the April, 2016, funeral of Gosse’s five-year-old daughter Quinn Butt.

On Sunday afternoon, Dec. 9, family and friends gathered once again to remember the little girl, and to unveil a memorial wall that honours those who have been impacted by domestic violence.

Andrea Gosse, Quinn Butt’s mother, sings along to “You Are My Sunshine” during the unveiling of the wall on Sunday, Dec. 9.
Andrea Gosse, Quinn Butt’s mother, sings along to “You Are My Sunshine” during the unveiling of the wall on Sunday, Dec. 9.

Following Quinn’s death her father, Trent Butt, was charged with arson and first-degree murder. His trial is set for March, 2019.

The monument at the Bear’s Cove walking trail in Harbour Grace is filled with butterflies; approximately 70 at last count.

Each of them placed on the board to honour those who have been affected by domestic violence in some way.

The idea for the wall was born in 2017, when former Harbour Grace resident Elena Parsons suggested a memorial mural.

The original idea was to welcome people to purchase plaques for the wall. Later, it was decided butterflies and daisies would be more fitting.

The board also contains the names of Canadian women and children who have been murdered, or gone missing.

Deputy Mayor Sonia Williams says people are still welcomed to purchase daisies and butterflies to place on the wall, from Williams or Kelly Peddle.

The cost is $15 each.

“You can buy one in memory of anybody,” said Williams, adding, “It helps show Andrea and her family that they’re not alone.”

Gosse told The Compass that the support she and her family have seen, and continue to see, is still overwhelming, and always appreciated.

She hopes the wall will serve as a place for people to reflect, while also acting as a reminder of the long-lasting effects domestic violence can have on victims, and those around them.

“If someone’s having a hard day, they come up here and see this, how can they not look at this and smile?” Gosse said, motioning to the photo of her and her daughter, placed next to Quinn’s signature, complete with backward Ns that Gosse said her daughter would call her ‘up-down-up-downs.’

“I know it makes (Quinn) happy, and I’m just very thankful that we’re still in everyone’s prayers and thoughts.”

“My stress is on the domestic violence aspect. We need change there, and to educate youth and teens, so they know what’s acceptable and what isn’t acceptable in a healthy relationship. If we can prevent any more names from going up on that wall, then we’re doing our job.”

Williams told The Compass she hopes to see even more additions to the area in the future.

“We want this area to be a nice place for people to come, relax, listen to the waves, remember the people who have passed on and, of course, to keep Quinn’s memory alive,” she said.

chris.lewis@cbncompass.ca

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