The names of those who donated thousands of dollars to build Huntsville’s Centennial Pool are no longer gathering dust in a closet.
CONTRIBUTIONS REMEMBERED: Matt Cole, left, Eric Hutley, Teri Souter and Ann Hutley gather around a new display that recognizes those who made contributions to the creation of the Canada Summit Centre's pool in the 1980s. Cole updated he Huntley's original design.
Ann Hutley, who owned the former Hutley’s Treasures and Trophies with her husband Eric, said she was upset when she could not find the original pool donour display the pair had engraved in the 1980s.
“When they did the construction of the Canada Summit Centre, I couldn’t find it,” said Hutley of the original display. “I started asking questions.”
The display – a two-dimensional wooden tree covered in dozens of leaf-shaped brass nameplates – was tucked in a closet.
Years of moisture had cracked the wood, chlorine exposure had eaten away at the brass and the display had been damaged in storage, said Hutley.
“I wasn’t concerned about the tree going back up again. I was more concerned about these people who had donated money – I know there was a lot of money collected – and I wanted those people to be recognized,” she said. “I didn’t want them to be put in a cupboard and left that way.”
She approached Teri Souter, manager of arts, culture and heritage for the Town of Huntsville, with her concerns and plans were put into effect to find someone to create a new display using the original nameplates.
The town issued an invitation to participate to interested designers and the Framing Place and Gallery in Huntsville submitted the chosen design.
The new display shows about 250 brass nameplates on a black background behind protective glass.
The nameplates sit on top of an outline of a tree, so they still represent leaves. The display sits in the pool’s viewing area outside the Al Thorpe Room.
Nearby, there are frames dedicated to the original display and an easy-to-read list of all the names on the nameplates.
Hutley said the new display is beautiful.
“It’s certainly very elegant,” she said.
She noted she is glad the new design includes the tree theme.
She said the original display used a tree to represent the pool as a branch of the recreation centre.
Matt Cole, owner of the Framing Place and Gallery, said he wanted to tackle the project because it was a part of the town’s history.
He said he wanted to stay true to the original design with the new concept, which is why he incorporated the Hutleys’ design into his.
It took him about a week to put the new display together.
“I was working on it full-time, polishing the plaques individually. Even my kids were helping me polish the plaques,” he said with a laugh.