The Hugh O’Neil Friendship Garden at the Trent Port Marina invites friends and passersby to sit and view the scenery at the mouth of the Trent River. O’Neil represented Quinte riding as a Liberal MPP in the Ontario Legislature from 1975 to 1995. He held four cabinet portfolios in the government of David Peterson.
After his retirement from politics, he managed a property development company and was appointed Honourary Colonel of the Canadian Armed Forces 424 Transport and Rescue Squadron at CFB Trenton. He was also Honourary Chair of the Loyalist College Foundation Board of Directors.
O’Neil spearheaded the campaign to create and complete the Afghanistan Repatriation Memorial in Bain Park, next to CFB Trenton. For that he received the Canadian Forces Medallion for Distinguished Service, the highest military recognition for a civilian. He died on September 14, 2015, at the age of 79.
The centerpiece stone features O’Neil’s photo and a caption, “Come my friends and rest a while”. Separate stone monuments in a semi-circle list his various achievements from family man to politician. The memorial links with a pathway to a similar monument honouring the writer and broadcaster Roy Bonisteel.
GPS co-ordinates: 44° 05’ 53.63 N 77° 34’ 25.60” W (44.09805556, -77.573611111)
Street Address: Cresswell Drive, Trent Port Marina