Historical Events

Holocaust Memorial- A Broken Star

I was biking past the Manitoba Legislative Buildings and saw a monument I’d never noticed before. It was in the shape of a broken Star of David.holocaust memorial winnipeg legislatureTaking a closer look I discovered it was a monument built in remembrance of victims of the Holocaust. It was dedicated in 1990.  

holocaust memorial winnipeg legilature groundsThe walls were designed to reflect the sunlight since the monument was to be a sign of hope, rebirth and the rebuilding of lives. names on holocaust memorial winnipegThe names of the 3,700 victims, memorialized on the monument’s walls, all had surviving family members living in Manitoba. 

holocaust memorial in winnipegThe legislature of Manitoba was the first in Canada to provide a designated space for a Holocaust Memorial. Philip Weiss, an award-winning Winnipeg furniture maker and craftsman, led the campaign to have the memorial built. Weiss was a Holocaust survivor who was seized from his parents home in Poland by the Nazis when he was just 15 years old and sent to two different concentration camps. holocaust memorial winnipeg legislature groundsThe names of  various concentration camps are engraved at the base of the monument. 

monument to holocaust winnipegThe monument also includes a menorah and the words These we do remember and our hearts are grieved.  Some people had left memory candles in the space below the menorah. 

holocaust memorial winnipegI’ve learned that each year on Yom Hashoah or Holocaust Memorial Day there is a service of remembrance at this monument during which each name inscribed on it is read aloud. 

Other posts about the Holocaust………

Meeting a Holocaust Survivor in Hong Kong

Brundibar- More Than It Seems

Taking Teens to Israel and Palestine

Categories: Historical Events, Politics, Statues | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Fort Gibralter

Fort Gilbralter St. Boniface

Fort Gibralter St. Boniface

I’d always wanted to visit Fort Gibralter, which is very near our home and on Canada Day I finally did. Admission was free because it was a national holiday.  While Dave was watching baseball at nearby Whittier Park I took a very interesting tour. 

The Blacksmith Shop

The Blacksmith Shop

Fort Gibraltar was built to show visitors what life was like in the area around Winnipeg in the early 1800’s. It was the home base for the North West Trading Company which was in direct competition with the Hudsons Bay Trading Company. The original fort was built in 1809 but captured and destroyed by the Selkirk colony in 1816.  Later the two companies amalgamated.

Fur trading at Fort Gilbraltar

Fur trading at Fort Gibraltar

The fort served as a supply depot and trade center for the voyageurs. The voyageurs were French Canadian transportation experts. They were seasoned woodsmen and fearless canoeists, known for their music making and love of life. Their job was to move  furs from one place to another.

These women were making baskets to hold voyageurs' supplies

These women were making baskets to hold voyageurs’ supplies

Look at her dress decorated with shells

Look at her dress decorated with shells

This young woman was curing cast iron cooking pots for the voyageurs. I loved the way the shells on her dress jingled and jangled as she moved around.

Packing a bison bladder with pemiccan

Packing a bison bladder with pemiccan for the voyageurs to take on trips

This fort worker was making pemiccan,  a paste of dried and pounded meat and maybe berries mixed with melted fat. It was good food for the voyageurs to take on their journeys and was stored in a dried out bison bladder.

Main Building at Fort Gilbralter

Main Building at Fort Gibralter

Voyageurs used Fort Gibraltar as a place to trade, rest up and restock their supply caches. 

Rental space at Fort Gilbraltar

Rental space at Fort Gibraltar

You can rent the main lodge for events. On Canada Day when I visited it was all set up for a wedding.

Guide explaining the willow china pattern

Guide explaining the willow china pattern

The guides at the fort were so helpful and answered all of my many questions.fort gilbralter
I know I’ll visit Fort Gibralter again.

If you enjoyed this post you might also like……

There must be 50 ways to use a Bison

Eating Bannock Voyageur Style

Red River Boat Tour

Categories: Historical Events, St. Boniface | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mennonites and Canada’s First Nations People Have More in Common Than You Think

IMG_5751Mennonites and Canada’s First Nations people have many things in common. I was surprised to hear that statement from Ovide Mercredi last Friday night at Thunder Bird House on Winnipeg’s Main Street.  Mr. Mercredi, a lawyer, and former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, was speaking at a dinner and program organized by Mennonite Church Manitoba and Mennonite Church Canada, as part of their mission to build mutually beneficial relationships with our country’s indigenous people. 

13011_ovide_mercrediMr. Mercredi said both Mennonites and Canada’s First Nations people know what it means to be oppressed. Mennonites left Ukraine and fled to Canada to be free from oppression. Mr. Mercredi noted that unlike Mennonites, Canada’s indigenous people have had no other countries to which they have been able to flee, in order to escape the oppression they have experienced in their native land.

 Upon their arrival in Manitoba in the 1870s the Mennonites were given two large reserves of land both east and west of the Red River. Canada’s First Nations people were also given reserves of land by the government. The Mennonites received 6% of Manitoba’s land at the time of their settlement. The First Nations received a much smaller percentage of the province’s land for their reserves. Mennonites were given good agricultural land, while Canada’s indigenous people were given mostly muskeg.

 Mr. Mercredi explained that another thing his people and Mennonites have in common is strong religious beliefs and an abiding faith in the Creator. The Canadian government allowed Mennonites to practice their faith freely, and even granted them special dispensation to remain true to their religious belief in pacifism, exempting them from military service.  First Nations people on the other hand had their spiritual practices outlawed by the Indian Act and the government tried to convert their children to Christianity by forcing them to attend residential schools.

Finally, like Mennonites, Mr. Mecredi said his people belong to a collective entity, a community with which they can identify. Mr. Mecredi fears the Harper government’s plan to introduce legislation that would allow First Nations members living on reserves to own their own property will irrevocably damage that collective identity. 

Although Ovide Mecredi said he was going to talk about how Mennonites and Canada’s First Nations people were the same, he essentially talked about how we are different, how much more privileged Mennonites have been.

Mr. Mecredi is a knowledgeable and articulate spokesperson for Canada’s First Nations and he used his platform on Friday night to educate us about the challenges facing his people and to explain a concept he called a double understanding. It describes a relationship where both parties not only listen, but they also genuinely hear one another, and try to understand one other’s point of view.

Cartoon by Terry Mosher- Aislin- 1991- from the collection of the McCord Museum- Montreal

Cartoon by Terry Mosher- Aislin- 1991- from the collection of the McCord Museum- Montreal

 He emphasized the need for a double understanding between Canada’s First Nations people and the current government, warning the country is headed for real conflict if that kind of working relationship cannot be established. He said there are now thousands of university educated aboriginal leaders who will rise up across the country to bring about necessary change in a peaceful way. The Idle No More movement protesting the government’s Bill C-45 is an example of the kind of political action we can expect to see.

I left Thunderbird House on Friday night keenly aware that everyone has a role to play in helping reach a double understanding with Canada’s First Nations people, not just Mennonites, but all religious groups and all Canadians.

If you enjoyed this post you might also like……….

Residential Schools- The Hiroshima of the Indian Nations

 There Must Be 50 Ways to Use a Bison

Words of Wisdom From Winnipeg Mayor Bill Norrie

Categories: Churches, Downtown, Famous Citizens, Historical Events, Politics | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Brundibar- More Than It Seems

“The children’s opera Brundibar was performed in the Terezin concentration camp no fewer than 55 times. It was a useful propaganda tool for the Nazis to show the world how ‘well’ they were treating its inmates but…….. the world was unaware that the cast had to be replenished constantly as virtually all the children who performed in the opera were exterminated shortly after they did so.”

-excerpt from the program notes for the Winnipeg Brundibar performance

Cast of Brundibar-Terezin Concentration Camp- Jewish Museum of Prague

Cast of Brundibar-Terezin Concentration Camp- Jewish Museum of Prague

On Tuesday night I saw the children’s opera Brundibar performed at the Westminster United Church by the members of the Pembina Trails Voices and the Winnipeg Chamber Orchestra. Brundibar was written by Czech composer Hans Krasa who died in a gas chamber at Auschwitz. The musical tells a simple story with an underlying message of freedom from a tyrant. 

My daughter-in-law is the assistant director of one of the choirs that make up the Pembina Trails Voices organization and she invited me to the Winnipeg performance of Brundibar.  The story has been retold in a colorful picture book by Maurice Sendak and Tony Kushner.

Brundibar by Maurice Sendak and Tony Kushner

Brundibar by Maurice Sendak and Tony Kushner

 It is about a young boy and girl singing as buskers in the street to try and earn money to buy milk for their sick mother. Their efforts are thwarted by an evil organ grinder named Brundibar who claims he is the only one who can busk on his street. With the help of some kind animals and a large group of friendly children the brother and sister manage to drown out Brundibar’s music and collect the money they need to buy milk for their mother.

Brundibar at the Chicago Opera Theatre- photo by Liz Lauren

Brundibar at the Chicago Opera Theatre- photo by Liz Lauren

The Winnipeg performance was excellent and even when there were some sound system problems the accomplished young actors and singers continued the show with confidence and poise. The girl who played the part of the sister  had a powerful voice inside her tiny frame. The children looked like they were having a good time. 

I read  in a Philadelphia Inquirer article that as many as 15,000 children came through the concentration camp at Terezin, and only 100 survived. Brundibar has a happy ending. However the sad fate of its intial performers’  as well as the murder of its composer adds a somber tone to any performance of Brundibar.

If you enjoyed this post you might also like………

Steinway Pianos

Sarah’s Key- Personal Connections

Slaughter of the Innocents


Categories: Culture, Historical Events, Miscellaneous | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Winnipeg Strike Mural

This mural is on the south wall of the very popular nightclub Whiskey Dix on Main Street. Painted by Tom Andrich it tells the story of perhaps the most memorable event in Winnipeg history, the strike of 1919.  In May some 30,000 workers walked off the job because of poor working conditions and a lack of employment opportunities especially for World War I veterans. Union organizers had been passionately advocating  for an eight-hour work day, collective bargaining and the need for employers to pay a living wage.  

The  artist has chosen to highlight eight of the strike leaders who were imprisoned, eight men and one woman. The woman right in front is Helen Armstrong. In 2001 a television documentary called The Notorious Mrs. Armstrong told her story. Nicknamed Wild Woman of the West she was a union organizer who championed the cause of working women. Born in Toronto and married to a carpenter named George she moved to Winnipeg with him in 1905 where Helen became the leader of the Women’s Labor League. Her leadership helped bring a minimum wage to Manitoba. 

During the Winnipeg Strike she organized kitchens to feed female strikers and harassed strike breakers who were crossing the picket line. She encouraged women to boycott stores where the workers were on strike and challenged them to join the men who were on strike. She was arrested and jailed for inciting people to strike, disorderly conduct and encouraging the abuse of strike breakers. 

Winnipeg business owners organized a Citizen’s Committee of One Thousand to oppose the strikers. They  blamed foreign immigrants for the strike and many were deported. The majority of the strikers however were British.

On June 21, 1919, war veterans organized a parade to protest the arrest of labor leaders. They were also upset at the government edict that the labor movement newspaper could no longer be published. 6,000 people gathered in front of City Hall. When a streetcar, operated by strike breakers came by the protesters overturned it and set it on fire.  

The federal government had sent out the Royal North West Mounted Police to help put an end to the strike. Carrying clubs and firearms the North West Police charged into the crowd after the street car was overturned. They began to fire their weapons. 

June 21, 1919 became known as Bloody Saturday, because the North West Mounties killed  two strikers, wounded thirty-four and made nearly a hundred arrests. The mural on Main Street has a portrait of one of the men who died. His name was Mike Sokolowski. After Bloody Saturday the strike organizers fearing more violence called the strike to a halt and the strikers went back to work on June 26th. 

I often catch the bus at a stop right by this Winnipeg Strike Mural.  I am glad that I understand more about it now and the important event in Winnipeg history it documents. 

Another post that might be of Interest is………….

1919 Winnipeg Strike- Fact and Fiction

Categories: Exchange District, Historical Events, Murals | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Famous Five

You are not persons” the Supreme Court of Canada told these five women in 1927 when they petitioned the court to determine whether as ‘persons’ they were eligible for appointment to Canada’s Senate. The court said they weren’t really people and therefore ineligible for Senate appointment. The  five women didn’t give up their fight and appealed to the British Privy Judicial Council who ruled they were indeed people. They are known as Canada’s Famous Five for their important contribution to women’s rights in Canada. 

Walking across the grounds of the Manitoba Legislature this summer I stopped to photograph this statue of the Famous Five created by Helen Granger Young and unveiled in June of 2010.  The five women are……….

Henrietta Muir Edwards who founded the Victorian Order of Nurses and set up a house in Montreal for single working women, a forerunner of the YWCA.  She was married to a doctor and had three children.

Emily Murphy was a bestselling author married to an Anglican minister and the mother of four daughters. She was the first female appointed as a magistrate in the British Empire. She was instrumental in having the Dower Act passed which ensured that upon the death of a man his widow was entitled to at least a third of his estate.

Irene Parlby sponsored the Minimum Wage Act for Women in 1925 and as the President of the United Farm Women of Alberta did much to improve health care for rural women and children. She was the second female cabinet minister in Canada. Married to a farmer and the mother of one son, Irene was the first woman given an honorary degree by the University of Alberta. 

Louise McKinney was an excellent debater and a member of the Alberta Legislature where she was instrumental in passing legislation to support people with disabilities, immigrants, widowed and single women. A teacher, she and her husband traveled together.

Nellie McClung is perhaps the most famous of the Famous Five because she played a key role in women getting the right to vote and run for public office in Manitoba in 1916. Manitoba was the first province to give women the vote in Canada. She was married to a pharmacist,had five children and was a best-selling novelist.

There are also statues of the Famous Five in Ottawa on Parliament Hill and when I visited there several years ago I posed with Emily Murphy. 

Here my daughter-in-law and her sister and I are between Irene Parlby and Nellie McClung who is holding up the newspaper with the headline Women are Persons. 

My husband and daughter-in-law sip tea with Henrietta Muir and Louise McKinney.

I’m glad to know there are statues of the Famous Five in Winnipeg and I don’t have to go all the way to Ottawa to see them.  Around the sculptures in Winnipeg is an enclosing circle of brick engraved with a quote from Nellie McClung. 

I want to leave something behind when I go; some small legacy of truth, some word that will shine in a dark place.

If you enjoyed this post you might also like these posts about other statues of famous people in Winnipeg…………..

What’s Ghandi Doing In Winnipeg

James Bond is From Winnipeg

John Hirsch Place


Categories: Downtown, Famous Citizens, Historical Events, Politics, Statues | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The 1919 Winnipeg Strike- Fact and Fiction

I am taking a course at the McNally Robinson community classroom from Roland Penner, a former dean of the University of Manitoba law school and the province’s Attorney General in the 1980’s. The course is called Winnipeg History- Fact and Fiction. In each class Roland gives a quick overview of an event in Winnipeg’s history and then introduces us to novels which have been written about those events. I decided I would try to read one novel about each event. 

In our first class we looked at the Winnipeg General Strike of 1919. For six weeks beginning in May more than 30,000 Winnipeg workers walked off the job. The strike was the product of poor working conditions, unemployment–especially in the case of returning World War I soldiers, the economic recession and the activity of union organizers.  The strikers wanted an eight-hour work day, collective bargaining and a living wage. 

The strike virtually brought the city to a stand still. Work stopped at the railway yards and factories. Winnipeg had no mail, streetcars, taxis, newspapers, telegrams, telephones, gasoline, or milk delivery. Most restaurants, stores, and even barber shops closed. Police, fire fighters, and employees of the water works joined the strike. 

The strike leaders were arrested and imprisoned and the strike ended on June 21,1919 when a contingent of Royal Northwest Canadian Mounted Police charged a group of strikers, killing two and injuring many others. 

The novel I read about the strike was Fox by Margaret Sweatman. There is a rather elegant and obviously wealthy young woman on the cover. Her name is Eleanor and it is basically through her eyes and that of her upper class friends and family that we view the strike.  Eleanor leads a very privileged existence and knows little about the lives of Winnipeg’s working class. However when she begins a romantic relationship with a book store owner who is a strike supporter, her eyes are opened to the working conditions of Winnipeg’s lower class as well as the suffering they experience as a result of the strike. 

Although it is clear author Margaret Sweatman’s sympathies lie with the strikers, interestingly her grandfather Travers Sweatman was one of the company of 1000– a group of Winnipeg citizens who banded together to bring about the unconditional defeat of the strike. They hired 2000 militia men to take the place of the striking police and discouraged all attempts to try to find a peaceful negotiated settlement with the strikers. Margaret’s grandfather was an attorney who helped in the legal prosecution of the strike organizers. One wonders if writing her novel was a way for Sweatman to do penance for the sins of her grandfather.

I was glad I knew some general information about the Winnipeg Strike before I read Fox. I think I would have been pretty confused otherwise, since Sweatman doesn’t provide a straight forward narrative but rather a kind of crazy jumble of newspaper articles, lists, headlines, stories, letters, poems and journal entries. She does a nice job of juxtapositiong events–a high society wedding is described right after we read that the strike leaders have been arrested– while Eleanor is hosting a tobogganing party the union leaders are meeting illegally at the Walker Theatre. Margaret shows what widely disparate economic and social class distinctions existed in Winnipeg at the time of the strike. 

Can anyone recommend other novels about the Winnipeg Strike?

Categories: Historical Events, Literature | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Park At the End of the Bridge

At the end of the Provencher Bridge here in my downtown Winnipeg neighborhood is the Joseph Royal Park. It has become known as a place where homeless people hang out. In fact there was a brutal beating incident reported in the news  in this park in June of 2010. Today however it was covered in sparkling white snow and the only creatures hanging out there were some birds.

A plaque behind the giant stone arch describes the man the park was named after. 

Joseph Royal was born in Quebec in 1837 one of  eight children of Edouard and Marcelin, a poor, illiterate and devout Catholic couple. Joseph was clever and quick-witted and so a priest, seeing his promise, paid for his schooling at a Jesuit College in Montreal.  

He became a journalist and worked for six different French Canadian newspapers as an editor. He married Agnes Bruyere and they had seven children. He also found time to article with famed lawyer George Cartier and was called to the Quebec bar in 1864. 

While editor of the newspaper Le Nouveau Monde he published more articles and letters than any other Canadian newspaper in favour of Louis Riel, a Metis  who was leading a resistance movement against the Canadian government in Manitoba.

In 1870 his news instincts made him decide to get the real story on what was happening in Manitoba and so he went there on a fact-finding mission. He met Louis Riel and became convinced the cause of Metis land possession was a just one. He felt God was calling him to a special mission in Manitoba and moved there to start a newspaper called Le Metis. He couldn’t afford to move his family from Montreal and he went into huge debt to set up his printing press in Manitoba.

He also practiced law in Manitoba and defended Lepin and Nault– two men associated with Louis Riel who were accused of ordering the execution of Thomas Scott, a member of the anglophone group that opposed Riel and promoted joining Red River to Canada. Later Joseph Royal argued for complete amnesty and a stay of execution for Louis Riel.

Joseph Royal had a distinguished career as a civil servant and politician. He was elected to the Manitoba Legislature and served as the Speaker of the House and the Attorney General. He was also elected to the federal House of Commons. He was the first mayor of St. Boniface, the first education Superintendent in Manitoba and was appointed the lieutenant governor of the North West Territories. 

Although I’m sure Joseph Royal would be happy to know Winnipeg has a park named after him, he was hoping for a little more lucrative and honorable recognition. He wanted to be appointed a senator at the end of his political career. But he was not. There were no big pensions for civil servants and politicians in those days, so Joseph had to move back to Montreal and take a newspaper job. He ended his life a poor man financially, living in a boarding house and dying after a lengthy illness in 1902. 

Joseph Royal Park is a scenic resting place. It has a fountain surrounded by benches at its centre. 

The park also contains a statue that pays tribute to St. Boniface writer Gabrielle Roy and a plaque with a quote from one of her novels. 

There are two other historical markers in the park. One describes the Provencher Bridge. The other describes the St. Boniface Woolen Mills which used to be located nearby. 

Across the street from the park is Place Joseph Royal a building of high-end condominiums. We looked at condos in that building before buying ours in the Ashdown Warehouse. They are handsomely appointed and pricey. How ironic that a man who died a pauper in a rooming house now has a ritzy condominium complex named after him. 

Categories: Famous Citizens, Historical Events, Parks, St. Boniface | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

The Street Where I Live

Seven months ago I moved into a condo on Bannatyne Avenue in Winnipeg. Today while I was reading an essay by Ed Rea about Winnipeg called Prairie Metropolis: A Personal View I came across the name A.G.Bannatyne.

I knew Bannatyne Avenue had been made famous by the Winnipeg singing sensation The Guess Who when they named their second album So Long Bannatyne. The record has a song on it called So Long Bannatyne. 

But could Bannatyne Avenue also be named after someone who had been important to the history of Winnipeg?

Meet A.G.  Bannatyne aka Andrew Graham Bannatyne who was born in the Orkney Islands in 1829 and began working for the Hudson’s Bay Company in Norway House in 1846. 

In 1850 Andrew fell in love with this young woman named Annie McDermot, one of 15 children of Andrew McDermot and Sarah McNab.  Annie was highly educated. Her Dad was a wealthy Red River merchant. Unfortunately the Hudson’s Bay Company did not look kindly on its junior clerks getting married so in order to wed the fair Annie, Andrew had to quit his job. 

Andrew decided to start a merchant firm in Red River with a partner and soon it was a large and flourishing business. The Hudson’s Bay Company must have been a little upset with Andrew for leaving them since they accused him of illegal trading in 1847. Apparently he weathered that storm nicely because he was appointed a Red River magistrate in 1861.

In 1868 when Louis Riel led a rebellion against the government of Canada and set up his own provisional government in Manitoba, Andrew Bannatyne  tried to serve as a mediator between the two warring factions.  This didn’t necessarily make him very popular. 

However despite this he was appointed the first postmaster of Winnipeg in 1871 and helped to found the first Free Masons lodge in the province of Manitoba.

 By now he and Annie had three children. Annie had given birth ten times but seven children had died. Annie was not only devoted to her family but gave lots of her time to various Winnipeg charities, in particular the Winnipeg General Hospital which the two Andrews in her life–her father and husband,  had helped to found at her request and with her encouragement. Annie is known as one of Winnipeg’s first philanthropists. Annie,  a Metis, was outspoken and opinionated.  She was incensed when a Winnipeg writer named Charles Mair wrote an article for the Toronto Globe in which he made derogatory comments about the women of mixed blood in the Red River Settlement. 

Annie knew that Mair came into her husband’s store every Saturday to collect his mail and she told the store clerk that as soon as Mair arrived she wanted to know. The clerk dutifully informed Annie of Mair’s arrival and she burst into the store brandishing a horse whip. Grabbing Mair by the nose she gave him a half-dozen licks with the whip and shouted, “That’s how the women of Red River treat those who insult them.” Mair to his credit did not retaliate and left the store in humiliation. Luckily a priest named George Dugas was in the store at the time and wrote about the debacle he had witnessed in his journal. Later Louis Riel would write a humourous poem about the encounter between Mr. Mair and Mrs. Bannatyne. 

During the 1870’s Andrew Bannatyne did several noteworthy things that might have merited naming a street after him. He helped found the Winnipeg Board of Trade and the Manitoba Historical Society. He was elected to the House of Commons in 1875 and……….he played in Winnipeg’s first ever curling match in December of 1876. 

Unfortunately Andrew Bannatyne’s business did not fair well in the 1880’s and he lost all his wealth and land. He retired from politics in 1878 and died in 1889.

They say that Bannatyne Avenue was named after Andrew Bannatyne but I’d like to think it was named after his wife Annie too. Her feisty compassionate personality makes her every bit as colorful a historical figure as her husband. 

Categories: Exchange District, Famous Citizens, Historical Events | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Women Soldiers

There is a statue on Winnipeg’s Memorial Boulevard that pays tribute to the women who served in Canada’s Armed Forces during World War I and II. During World War I nearly 3000 Canadian women were military nurses and during World War II some 45,000 women were clerks, cooks, heavy equipment drivers, telephone operators, parachute riggers and mechanics in Canada’s armed forces. 

There are three figures in the statue and they represent each branch of the armed forces, the army, the navy and the airforce.  The women look like they are taking their job seriously, but each has just a hint of a smile on her face. 
This monument was unveiled in July of 1976 and was erected by the Women’s Tri-Service Association–Winnipeg Veterans of World War I and II. 

The plaque on the statue says that it is dedicated to all the women of the British Commonwealth who served or gave their lives during the two great World Wars. 

A mural on a building on Fort Street that I often walk by also pays tribute to women’s contributions to the military. The mural represents the three branches of the service, army, navy and airforce and a woman is leading the men carrying a banner that says Fort Garry Unit #60- Shoulder to Shoulder. 

The Shoulder to Shoulder slogan on the banner the woman is holding comes from this poster for the Canadian army that shows women working shoulder to shoulder with men in the war effort. 

An older photo of the Fort Street mural also shows a female army nurse and the quote from the poem by Laurence Binyon,

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: 
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. 
At the going down of the sun and in the morning 
We will remember them.

Seventy-one female Canadian soldiers died in World War II. 

Categories: Downtown, Historical Events, Statues | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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