GRAVE SITES OF CANADIAN PRIME MINISTERS MONITORING REPORT

THE RIGHT HONOURABLE JOHN GEORGE DIEFENBAKER

SUBJECT:

The Right Hon. John George Diefenbaker’s Grave Site Grave Sites of Canadian Prime Ministers Monitoring Report Diefenbaker Canada Centre University of Saskatchewan Campus, Saskatoon, SK

TO:

Madame Julie Dompierre, Director Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada (HSMBC) Les Terrasses de la Chaudière 25, Eddy Street, Gatineau, 5th floor Quebec K1A 0M5

FOR:

National Program for the Grave Sites of Canadian Prime Ministers

[Grave Sites of Canadian Prime Ministers Monitoring Report: The Right Hon. John George Diefenbaker] Page 1 of 17

GRAVE SITES OF CANADIAN PRIME MINISTERS MONITORING REPORT
PREPARED BY: Jim Wagner, Conservation Architect W&N Asset Management, Parks Canada Agency 145 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg, MB R3B 0R9 January 31, 2012

DATE:

1.0 GENERAL INFORMATION DATE OF INSPECTION: PC FIELD UNIT CONTACT: August 26, 2011 Audra Norek, A/CRM Advisor, Saskatchewan South Field Unit, Parks Canada, P.O. Box 13, Gerald, Saskatchewan S0A 1B0 306-745-6234 Clear sky, 20 degrees Celsius

CLIMATIC CONDITIONS:

GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE GRAVE SITE ENVIRONMENT: The grave of The Right Honourable John George Diefenbaker is located on a grassy slope at the side of a paved path on the University of Saskatchewan campus. It overlooks a shallow ravine that leads to the South Saskatchewan River valley. Downtown Saskatoon is visible in the distance. The single grave marker for the Prime Minister and his second wife Olive Evangeline is composed of light grey granite slabs set flush with the ground. 2.0 COMPONENTS – OBSERVATION AND RECOMMENDED INTERVENTIONS 1. Awareness Panel Description: Cast aluminum plaque with grey-green enamel, approx 610mm x 1015mm, mounted to a steel back plate, supported by a 100mm diameter steel post with a black spun-aluminum base cover, on a circular concrete base, approx 1.8m high overall.

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GRAVE SITES OF CANADIAN PRIME MINISTERS MONITORING REPORT
Observation: Steel back plate has corrosion on surface and at welds. Finish has continued to fade since 2005. Recommended Action: Medium priority: Determine type of finish on back plate and propose methods for corrosion removal and treatment. Paint steel back plate satin black to match base cover. Remove plaque from backing plate to permit proper preparation and paint application. Re-install plaque.

Observation: Marks and oxidation on steel post. Finish has continued to fade since 2005. Recommended Action: Medium priority: Determine type of finish on steel post and propose methods for corrosion removal and treatment. Paint steel post satin black to match base cover.

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GRAVE SITES OF CANADIAN PRIME MINISTERS MONITORING REPORT
2. Flagpole Description: Black anodized aluminum pole with a brass ball finial and black spun-aluminum base cover, on a circular concrete base, approx 9m high.

Observation: Anodized finish on pole is scratched. Condition is relatively unchanged since 2005. Recommended Action: Ongoing: Continue to monitor condition of the finish.

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GRAVE SITES OF CANADIAN PRIME MINISTERS MONITORING REPORT
Observation: Small dent in base cover. Recommended Action: Ongoing: Continue to monitor condition of base cover.

3. 125th Confederation Anniversary Plaque Description: Cast bronze and maroon enamel plaque, approx 300mm x 500mm, mounted on a light grey granite base. The granite base has a slope and coved-edge detail matching the main grave marker.

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GRAVE SITES OF CANADIAN PRIME MINISTERS MONITORING REPORT
Observation: Right edge of plaque is abraded. Condition is relatively unchanged since 2005. Recommended Action: Low priority: Examine abrasion damage and advise if repair is possible.

Observation: Small marks and oxidation. Condition is relatively unchanged since 2005. Recommended Action: Low priority: Examine marks and oxidation and advise if repair is possible.

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GRAVE SITES OF CANADIAN PRIME MINISTERS MONITORING REPORT

Observation: Granite base chipped at both front corners. Condition is unchanged since 2005. Recommended Action: Low priority: Examine damage to granite base and advise if repair is possible.

4. Former Prime Minister’s Grave Marker Description: Ten lightgrey granite slabs, approx 400mm x 800mm and more than 100mm thick, arranged in a square approx 2.4m x 2.4m overall, set flush with the ground. There is a central panel of light grey granite with black lettering and a coved edge around the top and bottom perimeter. The central panel is tilted at an angle towards the path and there are two small flower beds in the interstitial spaces.
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GRAVE SITES OF CANADIAN PRIME MINISTERS MONITORING REPORT
Observation: Chips on edges of several perimeter slabs. There appears to be more damage than in 2005. Recommended Action: Low priority: Examine damage to granite slabs and advise if repair is possible.

Observation: Perimeter slabs are uneven. The movement and settling of granite slabs is more pronounced than in 2005. Recommended Action: High priority: Lift slabs, level and compact base, and re-set slabs in place.

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GRAVE SITES OF CANADIAN PRIME MINISTERS MONITORING REPORT
Observation: Chip at lower left (front) corner of centre panel. Condition is unchanged since 2005. Recommended Action: Low priority: Examine damage to granite centre panel and advise if repair is possible.

Observation: Rust-like marks on faces and edges of slabs. Condition is relatively unchanged since 2005. Recommended Action: Low priority: Examine damage to granite slabs and advise if repair is possible. Determine cause of marks.

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GRAVE SITES OF CANADIAN PRIME MINISTERS MONITORING REPORT
Observation: Grass is growing between granite slabs. This is an ongoing maintenance issue. Recommended Action: Ongoing: Remove blades of grass by hand.

5. Vegetation (trees, shrubs, plant material, lawn) Description: Vegetation consists of lawn and two Little-leaf Lindens symmetrically placed on the grave (south) side of the path and a small rise with lawn and trees on the opposite side of the path. These trees consist of six Little-leaf Lindens approx 6m high and spaced approx 5m apart, and a clump of three Scots Pines. A group of shrubs flanks the left side of the path at its starting point. Flower beds within the grave marker are planted with a selection of annuals.
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GRAVE SITES OF CANADIAN PRIME MINISTERS MONITORING REPORT
Observation: Two Littleleaf Lindens approx 2.5m high are located about 3.5m from either side of the grave. They were planted in 2008 and replace aged poplars as per recommendation of the 2005 report. Recommended Action: Ongoing: Provide ongoing maintenance to ensure vigorous growth of young trees.

Observation: Richardson ground squirrels are nesting near the grave. They do not appear to be having an adverse effect on the grave site. Condition is relatively unchanged since 2005. Recommended Action: Ongoing: Continue to monitor squirrel activity.

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GRAVE SITES OF CANADIAN PRIME MINISTERS MONITORING REPORT
6. Landscape Features (pavement, benches and others) Description: The grave site is reached by an asphalt-paved path leading from the parking entrance. It is approximately 2.4m wide with a concrete edge. A gravel ‘landscape feature’, where the flagpole and awareness panel are located, defines the entry point. Irregularly spaced aluminum light standards, approximately 3.5m high, are located along one side of the path. The path connects two nearby parking areas and will soon connect with the larger path system on the university campus. Observation: Damaged concrete edge. Condition is relatively unchanged since 2005. Recommended Action: Ongoing: Continue to monitor condition. Replace concrete edge if condition worsens.

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GRAVE SITES OF CANADIAN PRIME MINISTERS MONITORING REPORT
Observation: Gravel ‘landscape feature’ at entry point to the path. The 2005 report recommended installation of pre-cast concrete paving units to address a maintenance issue. Current maintenance appears to be adequate. Recommended Action: Ongoing: Continue to monitor condition of gravel ‘landscape feature’.

3.0 PREVIOUS CONSERVATION INTERVENTIONS 1994 2000 2008 2008 2008 Install 125th anniversary commemorative plaque Install Awareness Panel, flagpole and entry node Re-enamel lettering on grave marker Re-pave the path from entry node to approx 5m past grave site Replace two poplars with Little-leaf Lindens

4.0 ADDITIONAL COMMENTS The 2005 Condition Monitoring Report makes some recommendations regarding the maintenance agreement between the Government of Canada and the University of Saskatchewan. The University has confirmed that there is no formal maintenance agreement. South Saskatchewan Field Unit has reported that preliminary discussions about entering into an agreement were held in 2006/2007. A preliminary cost estimate to implement the recommended maintenance was prepared by the University. The 2005 Condition Monitoring Report recommends annually supplying a new Canadian flag to the University. None have been provided except possibly in 2009.

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GRAVE SITES OF CANADIAN PRIME MINISTERS MONITORING REPORT
The 2005 Condition Monitoring Report speculates that landscape maintenance and/or snow clearance appears to be the source of damage at the grave marker and recommends reviewing grounds-keeping practices with University maintenance staff. It is not known if this was done. The steel back-plate and supporting pole for the Awareness Panel had a poor quality paint finish applied in 2000. Significant fading was observed in 2005 and was already a foreseen concern in 2001. The University’s cost estimate assumed annual painting would be required. Since the original paint specifications are obsolete, consider using a coating system that is better suited to a severe exterior environment. Annual inspections have been done by the Field Unit but detailed records have not been kept. Records of interventions have been kept by the Diefenbaker Centre. 5.0 SUMMARY OF RECOMMENDATIONS Awareness Panel • Medium priority: Determine type of finish on back plate and propose methods for corrosion removal and treatment. Paint steel back plate satin black to match base cover. Remove plaque from backing plate to permit proper preparation and paint application. Re-install plaque. Determine type of finish on steel post and propose methods for corrosion removal and treatment. Paint steel post satin black to match base cover. Flagpole • Ongoing: Continue to monitor condition of the finish. Continue to monitor condition of base cover. 125th Confederation Anniversary Plaque • Low Priority: Examine abrasion damage and advise if repair is possible. Examine marks and oxidation and advise if repair is possible. Examine damage to granite base and advise if repair is possible. Former Prime Minister’s Grave Marker • High Priority: Lift slabs, level and compact base, and re-set slabs in place. • Low Priority: Examine damage to granite slabs and advise if repair is possible. Examine damage to granite centre panel and advise if repair is possible. Examine damage to granite slabs and advise if repair is possible. Determine cause of marks. • Ongoing: Remove blades of grass by hand.
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GRAVE SITES OF CANADIAN PRIME MINISTERS MONITORING REPORT
Vegetation • Ongoing: Provide ongoing maintenance to ensure vigorous growth of young trees. Continue to monitor squirrel activity. Landscape Features • Ongoing: Continue to monitor condition. Replace concrete edge if damage worsens. Continue to monitor condition of gravel ‘landscape feature’. Following is a summary of the recommended actions over the next five coming years: Recommendations Awareness Panel 2012 2013 Determine type of finish on back plate and propose methods for corrosion removal and treatment. Paint steel back plate satin black to match base cover. Remove plaque from backing plate to permit proper preparation and paint application. Re-install plaque. 2014 2015 2016

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GRAVE SITES OF CANADIAN PRIME MINISTERS MONITORING REPORT
Determine type of finish on steel post and propose methods for corrosion removal and treatment. Paint steel post satin black to match base cover. Continue to monitor condition of the finish and of the base cover. Examine If possible, repair. abrasion damage and advise if repair is possible. Examine If possible, repair marks and oxidation and advise if repair is possible. Examine If possible, repair damage to granite base and advise if repair is possible.

Flagpole 125th Confederation Anniversary Plaque

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GRAVE SITES OF CANADIAN PRIME MINISTERS MONITORING REPORT
Former Prime Minister’s Grave Marker Remove blades of grass by hand. Examine If possible, repair damage to granite slabs. granite slabs and advise if repair is possible. Determine cause of marks. Lift slabs, level and compact base, and reset slabs in place. Examine If possible, repair damage to granite centre panel. granite centre panel and advise if repair is possible. Provide ongoing maintenance to ensure vigorous growth of young trees and continue to monitor squirrel activity. Continue to monitor condition (including the gravel ‘landscape feature’). Replace concrete edge of paths if damage worsens.

Vegetation Landscape Features

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