AIR INDIA FLIGHT 182 MEMORIAL SUNDIAL
R. Bouwmeester & Associates was commissioned by the City of Toronto in late 2006 to design the sundial feature for the Air India Flight 182 Memorial planned for the Toronto, Ontario, waterfront. The Memorial was built in early 2007 in Humber Bay Park East which is located at the foot of Park Lawn Road south of Lakeshore Boulevard West.
The sundial is the central feature of the Memorial. It was unveiled by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on June 23, 2007. This date marked the 22nd anniversary of the bombing of Air India Flight 182 en route from Montreal to Delhi and Bombay in which 329 victims perished, and the bombing at Narita Airport, Japan, earlier that same day, that killed two baggage handlers.
Minister Stephen Harper and Jayashree Thampi,
Air India Flight 182 was lost on June 23, 1985, off the
south-west coast of Ireland near Ahakista where a memorial was
constructed one year later in 1986. The Toronto memorial evokes
some of the features of its Irish counterpart, for example, the sundial
was designed with a circular, horizontal base mounted on stones.
The support stones for the Toronto sundial were
donated by various provincial and international organizations
representing all of the provinces and territories of Canada, and the
countries of India, Ireland, Japan and the USA - all of whom were
directly touched by the tragedy.
Mr. Klambauer describes the Memorial by saying:
"The sundial rests in a small plaza that is framed by two monumental walls, the inscription wall and the title wall. The inscription wall bears the names of the 331 victims. It is oriented in the direction of Ireland, measured at approximately 52 degrees East of North. The title wall follows the direction of the approach pathway, which transforms into a ramp that leads the observer onto the sundial plaza. The plaza itself has a quarter-circle edge with 3 radiating steps, which is intended to evoke a temple-like effect, and which may be the place for adorning wreathes and flowers. The title of the memorial is written on the granite capstone of the title wall, which faces the sundial plaza."
The south side of the title wall bears an inscription that reads:
"THIS MEMORIAL HONOURS THE VICTIMS OF THE BOMBING OF AIR INDIA FLIGHT 182 WHICH CRASHED INTO THE ATLANTIC OCEAN BEYOND THE SHORES OF IRELAND ON JUNE 23RD, 1985”.
The sundial itself bears an inscription, similar to that on the sundial in Ahakista, that reads:
"TIME FLIES / SUNS RISE AND SHADOWS FALL /
The wording of the inscription and the circular, horizontal
shape of the sundial were the only design elements deemed mandatory by
the Client - as a reflection of those elements of the Irish sundial.
For the design of the sundial's face and shadow-caster (gnomon), we were
given a blank slate. Our goal was to develop a design that
reflected the country of origin of the aircraft, while memorializing the
date and time of the bombing.
The Flag of India
Enlargement of the Dharma Chakra
The sundial shows traditional 'sundial time' to which a correction must be applied in order to convert it to local watch time. This correction, known as the 'equation of time', or sundial correction, accounts for earth's elliptical orbit and the varying speed at which it revolves around the sun. A graph showing the sundial correction can be found on a brass plaque mounted in the inscription wall. On June 23, the sundial is only about 2 minutes slow so the times can be read almost directly.
sundials are typically labeled in Standard Time, the times on this
sundial are indicated in Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) since daylight time
applies on the key date of this Memorial. A note on the brass
plaque indicates that one hour should be subtracted from the dial time
at those times of year when Standard Time applies.
"This sundial marks the passage of the sun on June 23rd and identifies 08:41 AM EDT as the equivalent of solar noon in Ahakista, when the sun is oriented directly south of the Irish sundial and shines directly upon it."
Links to several media articles about the unveiling:
honours Air India victims - CANOE CNEWS
Reference and links to the NASS Registry:
Links to media articles about the Spring 2010 vandalism:
Bouwmeester, P. Eng.
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