Participants in the July 6, 2022, commemoration and re-dedication of the Morewood Cenotaph gathered following the event in front of the memorial which has served as a focal point in this North Dundas community for over a century. Front row, left to right: LCol (Retd) Roy Clarke, SDG warden Carma Williams, pastor Debbie Poirier, Shelly Hutt, Marjory Van Der Veen, North Dundas Mayor Tony Fraser, LCol (Ret’d) William Shearing. Back row, left to right: Bill Smirle, SDSG MP Eric Duncan, SDSG MPP Nolan Quinn, John Grove, Chris Paré, WO Delorme and Piper Nathan Stewart. Courtesy Photo
MOREWOOD – One hundred and one years after the Morewood Cenotaph was dedicated on July 6, 1921, community members gathered at the Cenotaph on July 6, to rededicate the memorial to those who had paid the supreme sacrifice while serving their country. Originally the event had been planned for July 6, 2021, but due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, the commemoration was delayed by one year.
In a June 23 press release from the Morewood Cenotaph Committee, it was noted the revitalization of the Cenotaph was accomplished over a period of several years in anticipation of the war memorial’s centennial in 2021. “From assisting in fundraising activities, providing information and consulting with local businesses to ensuring the grounds are kept in immaculate conditions and preparing for the July 6, 2022, commemoration,” each member has brought their own skillsets to work on the project.
The $70,000 project saw the installation of twenty granite pillars on either side of the cenotaph, which provided information on each soldier listed on the memorial plates and the addition of a pillar to “Maurice Cheney, a Morewood native who perished in the Great War for Civilization, but whose name was not listed on the World War One memorial tablet.” To the back of the memorial is a 21st pillar that recognized those individuals who returned home from wars but were changed forever by their experiences.
The press release continued with notes of thanks and expressions of appreciation for the support received as the project moved ahead. “Many present and former residents of Morewood and area donated funds ranging from $10 to $1,000 to the project and a sincere “thank you” to each person for their assistance.” Several local businesses and organizations donated materials, funds and work which provided great assistance to the success of the project. A special thank you was extended to the township of North Dundas for their continued support of the cenotaph and the MCC, to “SDSG MP Eric Duncan for his assistance during the project and the Commemorative Partnership Program at Veterans Affairs Canada which provided $25,000 to the project.”
The 30-minute July 6 cenotaph re-dedication event included comments from local dignitaries and selected members of the MCC, the singing of our national and royal anthems, with the re-dedication of the memorial and a prayer of thanksgiving. Following a brief history of the connection between the Morewood Cenotaph and the SDG Highlanders by LCol (Ret’d) Bill Shearing, LCol (Ret’d) Royal Clarke, former commanding officer of the SDG Highlanders and warrant officer Delorme who currently serves with the SDG Highlanders laid a wreath in memory of the fallen.
“The rededication of the Morewood Cenotaph on July 6 was an amazingly successful event because it upheld and followed the original objectives of memorializing in perpetuity the names of our local heroes who gave their lives for us, and because we have always had a supportive, caring, community with excellent leaders and volunteers” commented MCC chair Bill Smirle.
Carolyn Thompson Goddard, grew up in Chesterville and attended North Dundas District High School. After completing her BA in Political Science at Carleton University she has worked as a medical secretary and library technician. In 2020 she graduated from Algonquin College with a diploma in Journalism and has been a reporter and column writer for The Chesterville Record for over 10 years.