GUARDIAN OF THE GULF

Organization: Sydney Mines Tourism development Society

Country: Canada

Province: Nova Scotia

City: Sydney Mines

About This Project Idea

The dramatic history of the Battle of the Atlantic will come alive through the restoration of the Command Post of the historic Chapel Point Battery. It is a designated historic site, and one of 7 Sydney Harbour fortifications guarding Canada’s east coast steel and coal assets from U Boat attack during WW2. Your votes and dollars will not only help us undertake the restoration of this important landmark and provide visitors with a meaningful educational experience, but you will help us set the stage for the restoration of the remainder of the Battery site. This will include the underground ammunition magazines and tunnels, a powerhouse and gun emplacements and searchlights guarding Sydney Harbour. The Chapel Point Battery restoration will also launch the development of an Atlantic Memorial Park dedicated to the 115,000 military personnel who have lost their lives in service to Canada, and to the significant historical contributions of the Sydney Harbour area.

Community Impact

The restoration project will provide much needed social and economic benefits to the communities surrounding Sydney Harbour, including Sydney Mines, an economically disadvantaged area, in which the fortification is located. Community residents will be proud of the historic elements of the fortifications being restored to the way they looked in WW2 and look forward to many community events being held there, including Canada Day and Remembrance Day celebrations. Community participants in a local story telling society will help bring history to life for visitors to the site. The economic potential is summed up in the following quote from the CEO of Business Cape Breton in a Cape Breton Post article dated May 12, 2017 : “I think it is great for the region. It will drive tourism, not only that it can create many jobs through the process. It can be a destination point, something for people, not only Cape Bretoners, but Nova Scotians, Canadians and international friends and visitors”.

About this place

The Command Post at the Chapel Point Battery guarded the hundreds of ships that assembled during the war in allied convoys in Sydney Harbour and is the most prominent feature of the Battery Site. The upper story of the Command Post, with its panoramic view of Sydney Harbour was the battery commanders fighting position. The second story was for the officer in charge of the battery’s searchlights. Voice tubes were used by the two commanders to talk to each other. The Chapel Point Battery sits 1.5 miles inside the entrance to Sydney Harbour which is itself 10 miles in length. The battery location has experienced 3 different periods of use beginning in 1859, when worried about an attack by France, Chapel Point was selected as the place for a battery installation. It also served as a battery site in WW1. The WW2 battery was constructed on a cliff overlooking the Harbour. Many residents of the local community served in the 36th Field Battery which was stationed at the site, considered as a major community historical asset in need of repair and recognition.

Why Give?

The total budget for this project is $375,000. Funds raised during our THIS PLACE MATTERS campaign will make a critical contribution towards the Command Post restoration. The work will involve sandblasting as well as the fabrication of roof structures and the replacement of stairways and shutters. Any funds received above the target amount will be dedicated to completing the restoration of the Command Tower.

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