Fabrication of the Canadian Veterans Memorial

While Gerard Pas designed the memorial, much of the credit goes to Jan Maarschalkerweerd President of Abuma Manufacturing Ltd for building this wonderful Memorial and Carillon. Jan saw to the engineering concerns and through Abuma the actual building; he assisted Gerard in concept design in order that the design fit within engineering guidelines for a public monument going into a public space. When one realizes how much goes into making public art one can appreciate, the knowledge and expertise that Jan brought to this project.
Before receiving permission from The City of London to go ahead with the project, it had to be scrutinized by several committees of City Hall. Starting from drawings the project had to be approved by the City’s Public Art Committee, then the City’s Safety Committee, then a board of Council and finally by a full sitting of City Hall. While Gerard Pas and Piet Teunissen were the vocal representatives of the Memorial Committee to City Hall, Jan Maarschalkerweerd sat quietly in his office working out the actual logistics, mechanics and engineering to make this beautiful Memorial a reality.
Gerard said, “For me as the artist, it’s a perfect example of theory and praxis meeting hand and hand. I may have designed the Memorial and Carillon but Abuma made it a reality and credit should go to Jan Maarschalkerweerd.” Abuma built the stainless steel structure of the Carillon and the steel frame inside the granite sculptural component of the memorial. The entire project was assembled by Abuma.
It is because of this relationship between designer and builder that Gerard asked Jan to also put his signature on the Carillon pole where you now see JMM next to Gerard’s PAS. Additionally, though barely visible, the initials of all the employees that worked on the project at Abuma decorate the leaves that ascend / descend the pole.

The bells where purchased from Royal Eijsbouts Bell Foundry in Asten, The Netherlands. They were formed from bronze poured into sand moulds, then tuned on a lathe afterwards. They are precise musical instruments and the heart of the Carillon. Royal Eijsbouts is one of the paramount bell makers in the world and have been making bells in Holland for centuries. Royal Eijsbouts also provided the controlling computer, the software, and programming to make the bells play.

The exterior granite surface of the ground sculpture was commissioned to Classic Marble and Granite of London. Reginald Bernardo owner of Classic took this task himself and like every good artisan made an excellent job of giving the Liberation Sculpture life.

Finally, because this work is also a musical instrument driven by large steel clappers / hammers inside the bells, that are controlled by a computer, the instruments, wiring and controls were done by Paul Hogendoorn President of OES Inc. London, Canada.

It is also worth mentioning that Piet Teunissen with the help of Roel DeVries attached the bells to the stainless steel rings, placed the steel clappers inside the bells and wired the rings, which was no small task.

Visit Abuma Manufacturing
Abuma Manufacturing
London, Canada.

Carillon (bell tower),
Liberation Sculpture,
manufacturing and assembly.
Visit Royal Eijbouts Bell foundry
Visit OES Inc.
London, Canada.

Electrical engineering
for Carillon and tower.
Classic Marble, Granite and Tile
London, Canada.

Granite work on
the Liberation Sculpture.


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1. The bells arrive in London by air transport from Royal Eijsbouts Bell Foundry, Asten, The Netherlands. These eighteen bells provide a full 1 ½ octave of notes, making it possible to play almost any song.
2. The largest of the bells has Royal Eijsbouts stamp as well as the words "2005 Year of the Veteran". This bell weighs near 45 Kilos and is the heaviest bell of the eighteen bells. It sounds the lowest note.

3. The bells are cast from bronze in a sand and then later turned on a lathe for tuning. It is a very elaborate but ancient process. Here you can see the inside rings of the bell where the lathe has cut the bells sound. < to learn more about carillons please click here >

4. The bells are now hung on a wooden frame to allow for installation of the clappers, wiring and testing.
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5. Abuma makes special stainless steel nuts and bolts that will hold the Carillon tower upright in the concrete foundation.
6. These bolts measure almost 1.5 metres with the nuts measuring 3.5 cm. Eight will be used to anchor the tower
7. Here you see just what proportions these nuts and bolts are next to a human hand.
8. The finished anchor sits in Victoria park ready to inserted into the concrete foundation.
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9. Mitch of Abuma Manufacturing works on the stainless steel frame which will hold the granite slabs of the ground sculpture " Liberation Sculpture" or the N - V.
10. The stainless steel frame of the Liberation Sculpture. The tall section on the left will have the dedication stone placed on top and also holds the bells controller concealed inside.
11. Here you can see the form of the Liberation Sculpture taking shape before the granite is applied.
12. The V coming from the broken N can be clearly seen here. The entire N - V is welded on to a stainless frame to ease transport and installation, so that the granite will not crack.
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13. The hammers which hit the bells to make sound are installed.
14. These are static bells that are struck by hammers driven by a magnetic electrical solenoid
15. The bottom ring of the Carillon that acts anchor holding the pole upright. cf. # 20
16. The arms or spokes that hold up the rings have been laser cut by Abuma. These pieces must also be welded together leaving a channel for the wiring to reach out to the bells. These spokes hold up the rings from where the bells are attached,
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17. At 240 tons per square inch the stainless steel sections of the tapered tower are bent by Abuma.
18. Six sections of stainless steel will be welded together to make the Carillon pole.
19. Two of the sections welded together and the pole starts to take form.
20. The anchor section of the pole is welded on. This section will hold the pole to the concrete foundation. cf. #20 & 5-8.
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21. The rings which top the Carillon and hold the bells have started to be made at Abuma.
22. Here the rings are being cut to size before being welded and tooled for the bells.
23. The cutting machine makes light work of cutting through the stainless steel ring.
24. The rings receive tooling; in order to hold and wire the bells holes must be drilled.
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25. The rings are temporarily placed on the top section of the Carillon pole to test for fittings.
26. All but one of the rings will be attached to the Carillon tower at the Abuma factory. The top two rings, with bells in tact, will be assembled on site.
27. Classic Marble Granite & Tile begins affixing the 1 ½-inch thick granite to the stainless steel frame. When completed this will make the sculpture look as though it was fashioned entirely of granite.
28. The V component of the sculpture is starting to take shape as the granite is applied.
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29. Piet Teunissen and Paul Hogendoorn of OES Inc. begin the task of wiring and testing the bells.
30. This is the Apollo Computer which holds the almost 250 songs and programs the bells to ring.
31. With the base section of the Carillon being welded last, the top and middle sections have been welded together. When all three sections of the tower are welded it will reach a height of 8 metres; making it tall even for the Abuma factory, thus the work is done horizontally.
32. Here you see the form of the leaves, which will spiral up or down the length of the pole. This will be the smallest leaf.
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33. Looking up the length of two sections of the tower one can almost imagine it transformed into the Carillon.
34. The entire pole has been sand blasted with a metal contaminated sand that pits the surface of the steel and removes the shiny stainless steel patina.
35. The results of sand blasting leave the pole a muted gray and will allow it to discolour in its environment with time.
36. Gerard Pas’ signature PaS has been welded onto the base of the pole just above ground level.
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37. Gerard asked Jan Maarschalkerweerd to include his signature at the base of the tower; JMM. Jan Maarschalkerweerd is owner of Abuma Manufacturing. cf. top text
38. These laser cut maple leaves have been welded onto the pole in a spiral form going up and down the pole.
39. All of the workers who helped build the pole at Abuma Manufacturing have placed their initials or names on the many leaves of the pole. As these leaves will be at a height of more than 3 metres these initials will not be visible from the ground but they will know they are there.
40. The rings that hold the bells have been treated with the same sand blasting procedure also making them muted in colour and no longer shinny.
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13. Hans Moonen of the Veterans Memorial Committee helps Reggie Bernardo of Classic Marble Granite & Tile place a wooden mock up of the dedication stone onto the sculpture.
13. The entire surface of the Memorial Sculpture has been clad in two colours of granite, a dark gray, and a black.
13. The sculpture makes a broken N for the Netherlands after WW2. It consists of 2 sections the gray N with the black V coming from it.
13. The V has VICTORY etched into it. This V conveys that from the broken (the N) there can still be healing and inevitably victory.
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45. Piet and Rinette Teunissen hold up the dedication stone top with Reggie Bernardo of Classic Marble, Granite and Tile.
46. A detail of the dedication stone shows the locations of the grave sites of Canadian Soldiers still laying in Dutch and Belgian soil.
47. The bells are attached after the wiring has been pulled through the rings.
48. The brass finials or top caps where turned at the University of Western Ontario Engineering Department. London, Canada.
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49. The bells are wired into the rings. These wires will be pulled through into the tower after being attached on the site.
50. The Carillon must be wired to the bells and the controller inside the sculpture.
51. Paul Hogendoorn of OES Inc. begins the task of wiring the Carillon.
52. The Carillon tower will be transported with one complete ring attached. The other two rings and bells will be assembled on site.
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53. Piet Teunissen and Roel DeVries attach the bells, finials and finish the bell wiring on the rings of the Carillon.
54. The Liberation sculpture has returned to Abuma Manufacturing where it will have the computers and wiring installed before transport.
55. Something that few of us will see again, the underbelly of the Memorial sculpture stainless steel frame, as it will be buried in the earth.
56. Jan Maarschalkerweerd, President of Abuma Manufacturing and builder of the Memorial, Gerard Pas its designer and Reggie Bernardo of Classic Marble, Granite and Tile, get together at the installation of the Memorial in Victoria Park, London, Canada.
all photographs were taken by and remain the copyright of Gerard Pas ©
"Canadian Veterans Memorial" | Liberation Sculpture - Carillon Memorial (2006)

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© Gerard Pas