The Case of the Missing Plaque: Behrends Group Returns Ontario Heritage Plaque to Its Rightful Owners


[dropshadowbox align=”right” effect=”lifted-both” width=”280px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]Good Morning Alan and Brenda My name is Sara Murray, and I am the Marketing coordinator at Behrends Group of Companies. I wanted to reach out to you both about the missing Trans-Canada plaque. Because of your efforts Alan in creating this website and Brenda for your last post on the Trans-Canada plaque going missing our Production manager Chris Marshall was able to piece together the missing plaque after finding it online for sale on Kijiji. Attached is a write we have done on the piece and thought we would share with you both. Because of your effots we were able to contact Ontario Heritage, which is a client of ours, to recover the plaque and refinish the plaque for them. The plaque is back on its way to them and will be installed soon. I hope this story finds you well! Sincerely Sara Murray, Marketing Coordinator designers & manufacturers since 1952 Editor’s Note: The plaque was noted missing in July 2012. [/dropshadowbox]An unusual set of circumstances put Behrends Group of Companies at the forefront of recovering a valuable Ontario Heritage plaque that had gone missing from its original installed location. Very recently, the plant manager and estimator for Behrends Foundry, Chris Marshall was on Kijiji looking for cast bronze plaques or signage. Since the area is quite niche on such an outlet, he was able to search the entirety of Canada in one short list. Such a list is usually the domain of collectors or those interested in unique plaques; however, Chris happened to notice that one of the plaques posted was one that Behrends Group had made for a prominent client: Ontario Heritage.   After advising the owner of Behrends Group, Generoso Russo about the presence of their client’s plaque, Chris also double-checked a website called Ontario Historical Plaques which is a hobby site run by an enthusiastic gentleman who documents plaques around the province, takes pictures of them and their locations, and catalogues them on the website. Upon checking with them, Chris found that the plaque in question was there but had been listed as missing as of June 2012. image   After connecting the dots, Chris advised the client, Ontario Heritage, who then got in touch with the person who had posted the Kijiji advertisement. After their conversation, the poster agreed to relinquish the plaque and it was shipped to Behrends Foundry in Edmonton for some work before forwarding it back to Ontario. “Our plaques are generally built to last but we were able to refresh the plaque when it was brought back to us,” Marshall noted. “We just touched up the paint in the background and re-did the clear coating on it to getting it looking perfect again.”   The plaque itself commemorates the Trans-Canada Highway (17) about 53 kilometres north of Sault Ste-Marie at the approximate half-way point of the Highway itself. The construction of the highway was undertaken by the federal government and took 13 years from authorization to opening for through traffic in on September 3, 1962.   Somehow the plaque made its way from that location to Airdrie, Alberta where the poster of the Kijiji advertisement was from. Behrends Group will be informing the managers of the Ontario Plaques website to let them know the invaluable role their plaque archive played in solving this plaque mystery.


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