The location is a huge factor in the success of the Flag Plaza at the foot of the Bluewater Bridge. That’s the view of Pat Voegelin, the head of brick and paver sales for the Rotary Club of Sarnia Bluewaterland who is in the throes of co-ordinating another $34,000.00 expansion, the fourth since the plaza’s inception in 2004.
The Club recently received approval from the Lambton Area Water Supply System, the property’s owner to expand 100 feet north of the existing plaza to accommodate another 250 to 300 white pavers.
“That’s the issue says” Voegelin. “There is a lot of space for bricks but the pavers are much larger and require more room”.
While the bricks at $100.00 are popular the pavers at $500.00 are almost as popular and the location under the bridge and near the St. Clair River is where families want to remember their loved ones says Voegelin. “So many people tell me they like to come to the plaza rather than a grave site”.
For the Rotary Club brick and paver sales are a profit centre. Since 2015 the plaza has grossed more than $93,000.00 in sales. Sales in the past year topped $33,000.00 with a net profit of $24,000.00.
As for the pavers, Voegelin who took over sales in 2015 says “they sell well and as a result take up a lot of room. We are selling more pavers than we ever planned and that’s why we are always expanding”.
The Point Edward Flag Plaza was established after Port Huron established a similar plaza following the World Trade Centre attacks in 2001. While the flags in Port Huron fly year-round Voegelin says the flags here fly from Victoria Day to Remembrance Day. Due to wind conditions under the Bluewater Bridge the flags on the Canadian side “last about 10 minutes in winter” says Voegelin.
Proceeds from brick and paver sales are being used to fund a new playground and memorial garden at Centennial Park.