The Great War exacted a heavy human toll on the University of Saskatchewan. Of the 345 students, faculty and staff who enlisted, 69 "passed out of the sight of man by the path of duty and self-sacrifice." About 100 were wounded. 35 were awarded medals of valour.
It is with great honor that Ryan Watson, our Stone Carver at ROCCO MASONS accepted this opportunity. He was asked to design and carve a memorial bench using Indiana limestone dedicated to the men and women of the campus who served our country from 1914 to 1918.
This is his creation, from paper to stone.
Watson's gift in the art of hand carved stone has been proven time and time again. He's carved on projects in Chicago, Philadelphia, South Carolina and all over Canada, including Saskatoon's award winning King George hotel and Underhill Residence on Sask Cres West and most recently, Taverna Italian Kitchen & Bar and Calories Restaurant in the Smith Block building on Broadway Avenue. Check out our CARVING PORTFOLIO HERE for more of Watson's works.
We invite you to join us for a ceremony where the REMEMBER US bench is now installed to honor those who served.
WHEN: Thursday, November 8 at 11:00am
WHERE: on the U of S campus behind Louis in the courtyard of the Memorial Union Building
Free admission, dedication service featuring Saskatoon Chamber Singers. Everyone is welcome to the ceremony, refreshments to follow, upper MUB in Louis Loft.
With over 18 years of experience in the trade, Watson continues his dedication to the art by providing his commercial and residential clients with inspiration and an end-product unlike any other. He's keeping history alive by playing a key creative role in designing timeless stone facades on homes and buildings both inside and out. His extensive knowledge and artistic talent in old world craftsmanship offers his clients a unique Masonry Design each and every time.
IT'S ALL IN THE DETAIL!
Ryan Watson was born in 1976, was raised in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, and is proud of his prairie roots. He's a natural born artist in a trade that dates back to the beginning of civilization and uses the most modern tools to promote one of the oldest trades.
Watson received a Diploma in Heritage and Traditional Masonry as well as Heritage Restoration, both from Ontario. From there he formed a Masonry company specializing in hand carved stone and restoration.
Watson currently has two Municipal Heritage awards under his belt. One for the hand carved entryways and Masonry design and installation on the King George Hotel restoration project, and another for the restoration project on the historical Hopkins House on Saskatchewan Crescent West.
Eight piece hand-carved arch and pediment detail at front entrance of Calories!
VOILA! Calories restoration is complete!
We were right in our element since restorations happen to be our specialty, so Owners Ryan and Nicolene Watson felt privileged, and honored when asked to be a part of another historical project early last year.
Our scope of work involved a total brick and Indiana limestone facade, a three piece hand carved Indiana limestone "Smith Block" and date sign weighing around 400 pounds, along with a colossal hand carved limestone pediment for the buildings entryway.
Three piece Smith Block est 1912 sign a-top Calories restaurant. Be sure to look up!
Smith Block was built in 1912 by the Bugenhagen and Turnbullof, who were also the architects of the Farnam Block. Previous tenants of this building include, Early’s Seed and Feed Company (which is now located on Lorne Avenue), the Free Methodist Mission and a branch of the Public Library. The chief librarian at the time, James Stewart Wood, lived in the upstairs suite until his death in 1961.
Nicolene Watson, Co-Owner of Rocco Masons since 2013. "Nicolene is the brains behind the scenes at Rocco Masons. She naturally knows how to run a business. When she wants something there's no stopping her", says Ryan Watson, Nicolene's husband and the companies Founder & President. Since 2013 Nicolene manages the office and directs all aspects of the business including Accounts Payable/Receivable, Human Resources, Web Design, Marketing, Advertising and Social Media. "I finally found my dream career at fourty that fits me like a glove"!