Here we go again … a vandal or vandals have struck at Southampton’s picturesque Dominion Lookout at the foot of High Street.
At the waterfront where visitors enjoy sitting and looking out over Lake Huron or taking in one of the beautiful summer sunsets, there flies a mammoth Canada Flag, weather permitting. The flag is cared for by the volunteer group, Friends of the Flag.
The Friends hoist the flag and lower it to half mast in respect. When there is a storm warning or high wind warning, it’s the Friends who take the giant flag down, store it and then replace it with a much smaller one so that there is always a flag flying. When there is a need for flag replacement, there is no large corporate or government funding involved. It is funded only through donations and fundraising by the volunteers.
The giant flag has become famous with returning visitors and summer residents who looked at it as a symbol of summer. Throughout each summer and Fall, visitors enjoy sitting on the benches and watching the waves or the odd fishing tug that goes by, as the giant flag flutters above.
Some years ago, the Friends placed two small flag boxes of steel mounted on short posts that were then lag-bolted into the armour stone that is part of the landscaping. The flags, created by Ted Quinnell, acted as ‘piggy banks’ of sorts where visitors could drop in a coin or two as their contributions to help caring for the flag.
Well, in 2019, someone took the effort to unbolt the two boxes and make off with the contents. Now, vandals have struck again.
Once again this week, they unbolted the two steel flag boxes and made off with the contents. Fortunately, Thede Seaman of the Friends, had emptied the contents after the Labour Day weekend of September and, in fact, they were emptied monthly.
“This is not about the money,” said Ted Quennell. “This is about the iconic little boxes where families and kids dropped in their coins to feel part of the flag. All the Friends ask is that the vandals return the boxes to the site, no questions asked.”
While the Friends of the Flag are understandably upset, they repeat, “Simply drop off the flag boxes where they were formerly, under cloak of darkness, the way they were taken … end of story. We have one message for the vandals though – if you think this is going to stop us, you are wrong!”
What kind of mentality does it take to steal a ‘piggy bank’ flag? Not much.