Life

YESTERDAY AND TODAY: Weekend of remembrance

By Dennis Gannon, special to the Standard

Edward, the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII, descends the steps leading up to the Cenotaph here in St. Catharines, in Memorial Park on St. Paul West, next to the CKTB Radio headquarters in 1927. — Photo Courtesy of the late Col. Clifford R. Baker. Right: The St. Catharines Cenotaph as it looks in 2017. Bob Tymczyszyn/Postmedia Network

Edward, the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII, descends the steps leading up to the Cenotaph here in St. Catharines, in Memorial Park on St. Paul West, next to the CKTB Radio headquarters in 1927. — Photo Courtesy of the late Col. Clifford R. Baker. Right: The St. Catharines Cenotaph as it looks in 2017. Bob Tymczyszyn/Postmedia Network

The gentleman carrying the straw hat and descending a few steps in our old photo this week was Edward, the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII. He was descending the steps leading up to the Cenotaph here in St. Catharines, in Memorial Park on St. Paul West, next to the CKTB Radio headquarters. The Prince had just placed a wreath at the base of the Cenotaph which on that day — August 7, 1927 was being dedicated to those who had given their lives for the defence of Canada during the First World War.

The Prince was making a visit to this country in honour of the Diamond Jubilee of Confederation. When he made his stop here he was on his way to Fort Erie, where on the following day he would participate in the opening of the Peace Bridge between Fort Erie and Buffalo, New York.

Shortly before the laying of that wreath by the Prince, the high point of the ceremony had occurred when Brigadier General W.B.M. King unveiled the monument, removing a gigantic Union Jack that had been draped over it for the occasion.

The dedication of this cenotaph was the culmination of the desire of St. Catharines’ citizens to appropriately honour the local soldiers who had lost their lives during the First World War, concluded just nine years earlier — an act of Remembrance that we are renewing today, November 11, 2017.

But on this weekend in November 2017 there is a second act of remembrance in which local residents can participate. Today we have a military remembrance, but tomorrow we have another kind of remembrance, honouring the civilians who lost their lives in the construction of the Welland Ship Canal, 1913 to 1935.

During the ceremony officially opening the Ship Canal in August 1932, the Hon. Dr. Robert J. Manion, Minister of Railways and Canals, noted that “Peace has its heroes as well as war,” before remarking on the scores of men (137 in all) who had lost their lives building the Canal, and promising that the names of those fallen workers would be remembered.

That promise is about to be fulfilled with the dedication this weekend of the Fallen Workers Memorial. Because of the weekly articles in The Standard devoted to the fallen workers for the past two years, readers of this newspaper will be familiar with them and their sacrifices.

The dedication of this new Memorial will take place tomorrow, Sunday, November 12, starting at 2:00pm at the Memorial, located adjacent to the St. Catharines Museum and Welland Canals Centre at Lock Three, on the Welland Canals Parkway. Everyone is invited to come out and watch the fulfillment of the long-delayed promise to recognize those who lost their lives building our Welland Ship Canal.

Dennis Gannon is a member of the Historical Society of St. Catharines. He may be reached at gannond2002@yahoo.com  



Featured Businesses

Go to the Marketplace »