Fredericton — Fredericton City Council Monday night voted unanimously to erect a tribute to the longest-serving mayor of Fredericton, Brad Woodside, in the form of a bust and pillar.
The bust will depict Woodside’s head, neck and torso, and will be 3D-scanned using the latest technology. The bust portion will be made out of marble, and it will be laser-carved for an exact likeness. The pillar will be fashioned out of concrete and plated with matching marble slabs.
“This isn’t some tiny little nude fountain dude like we have in front of City Hall. This is going to be a huge construction to reflect the years of dedicated service and the 8 terms the mayor has served this city,” Coun. Scott McConaghy excitedly told reporters.
The pillar and bust will be placed in the centre of the new roundabout that will be constructed at the top of Smythe Street. The 2 pieces when placed together will stand approximately 3 times the height of the nearby water tower. The bust will face Fredericton’s downtown.
“I truly believe the people of Fredericton will love this new tourist site. I’ve been told that I’ll be able to stand on the front steps of City Hall and look up the hill and see this beautiful masterpiece,” said McConaghy. “That will be truly inspirational.”
Coun. Marilyn Kerton was thrilled with the idea when it was first proposed to her 2 years ago; she has been working behind the scenes to ensure the project could proceed.
“I really love the enormity of this project. It’s going to put a lot of skilled people to work,” she said, beaming with pride. “I know the people of Fredericton will fall in love with it, much like they have for this mayor since he held his first council position in 1981. We had originally thought about moving and modifying the statue of Glooscap located in Truro, Nova Scotia, but we quickly realized that it was too small for our purposes.”
Mayor Brad Woodside seemed a little nervous about the whole idea. “I remember working at CFNB radio in my youth, and if someone said the word ‘bust,’ I would have run the other way. I guess I’ve really mellowed over the years. To be honest, I thought such tributes were meant for people who are deceased. I’m shocked to be given this honour as I have often been told that I have a wonderful voice and face for radio. Even so, I take great pleasure knowing that people can still look up to me as a leader and as a huge marble head after I’m gone,” he said with a smile.
Kerton laughed at Woodside’s comments. “You see why we need to honour him? He just has a wonderful way with people and a delightfully self-effacing sense of humour.”
“Busted,” chuckled Woodside.
The city estimates the cost of the project to be $2,571,000; it will be covered by a small property tax increase of 1 cent per $1,000 for the next 10 years. It should be fully completed by the beginning of the major’s 12th term.