By Stew Slater, Staff reporter
The downtown streets of St. Marys had some attractive new decorations during last weekend’s Stonetown Heritage Festival — and they’ll now remain in place permanently.
Six artistic banners — two for each downtown intersection — were erected on lampposts in the middle of last week by a crew from RJD Bailey Metalworks of St. Marys. The pieces of art were designed, constructed and painted by RJD owner Ron Bailey on a commission from the Business Improvement Area (BIA).
The banners consist of stylized metal frames of approximately three feet by five feet, to which six distinctive pieces of art created by Bailey have been attached. The first one to be put in place — beside the Town Hall — was a beautiful mesh of 67 red roses and stems.
The BIA paid for five banners. Bailey included the rose version (pictured at right) as a tribute to the artist/metalworker’s late mother, Florence.
“I hope my family likes it,” he said, humbly.
Other banners include depictions of the Old Water Tower, a steam train on a trestle bridge, a great blue heron, the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum logo, and a horse-drawn wagon carrying limestone out of an old-time quarry. Bailey is particularly proud of that banner, since it also includes a piece of limestone as a backdrop, representing the quarry wall.
BIA member Charlie Hammond was on hand as the banners were being erected. “We’re replacing the temporary banners with permanent ones, which is something the BIA thought would be a good use for its funds. Less maintenance, more beauty.”
Hammond would like to see St. Marys business owners or other donors come forward and pay for other similar banners