Earlier this year when Patrick Calnan visited the office at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Lynn to inquire about a statue of St. Joseph that was removed over 3 years ago, he was told that the statue had fallen off its pedestal during high winds and was damaged. Sympathetic cemetery workers said there was no money in a tight budget to repair and reinstall it. Calnan, a skilled masonry contractor, now retired, immediately volunteered to do the repairs and place it back on its perch free of charge. Cemetery staff readily accepted the offer.
Calnan then organized family members and friends, most of who had construction experience and the work began. The first task was to pour a new concrete pedestal on which the statue would rest. Repairs to the statue itself followed and included a new concrete base with dowels and several coats of paint. Also the staff, which had been damaged, was repaired. Finally the statue was ready to be returned to the cemetery better than ever.
On a recent Saturday the restoration crew worked for the better part of a day to lift the statue back in place above a stone wall on the cemetery’s main road. This time it is firmly doweled in place and additional masonry clips installed to ensure that it will stay in place for many years to come.
Pat Calnan’s late wife, Kathleen and two sons Patrick (PJ) and John are buried nearby and he takes great comfort in knowing that St. Joseph’s statue is back where it belongs. Many visitors to the cemetery have commented on how they missed the statue through the years and thanked Calnan and his crew for having it restored.
Community service has been a hallmark of Patrick Calnan’s life. He has been serving on the City’s Zoning Board of Appeals for over 42 years.