McGill again to play host to Remembrance Day ceremonies

Posted on Wednesday, November 5, 2014
A scene from last year's Remembrance Day Ceremony on lower campus. / Photo: Neale McDevitt

A scene from last year’s Remembrance Day Ceremony on lower campus. / Photo: Neale McDevitt

By Doug Sweet

A century ago, student soldiers, alongside their staff and faculty colleagues, marched and paraded on the lower field of the downtown McGill campus before heading off to a terrible war.

By the end of that conflict, the First World War, more than 3,000 McGillians had gone overseas to fight and more than 360 never came home.

Again this year, McGill will play host to Montreal’s Remembrance Day ceremonies, on the lower field of the downtown campus, Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014, between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Given that 2014 marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I, this year’s ceremonies are particularly poignant. To mark this moment, Chancellor Michael Meighen will address the crowd to commemorate the significant contribution McGill made to the war effort 100 years ago.

On Thursday, Nov. 6,, Remembrance Ceremonies took place at Macdonald Campus. Faculty, staff and students, along with guests from the Ste-Anne’s Veterans’ Hospital and John Abbott College and Macdonald High School, gathered to remember the fallen. Go here to read coverage of the event.

This year’s ceremonies are also made poignant by recent events that left two members of the Canadian Forces dead at the hands of troubled individuals who appear to have been motivated by extremist impulses. As a result of those events, there will be an increased security presence at this year’s ceremonies.

Two days after the downtown ceremonies, McGill will unveil a restored Book of Remembrance, which lists those from our community who died in both the First and Second World Wars – 363 in the First World War, and 289 in the Second.

This lavishly illuminated tome, first produced in 1926, spent decades on display in Memorial Hall, next to the Currie Gym. It will now find a permanent home in the McGill University Archives collection in the McLennan Library Building and a facsimile will remain on public display in the passage between the McLennan and Redpath Library Buildings so that all who pass can pause to remember the sacrifices made by those who came before.

The illuminated Book of Remembrance was created sometime between 1944 and 1950.  The Memorial Hall and Memorial Pool were officially opened on November 26, 1950 by the Viscount Alexander, then Governor General of Canada. Go here for the full story.

 

 

 

Share this article

Category: In the Community

7 Responses to McGill again to play host to Remembrance Day ceremonies

  1. Tom says:

    As an American alumnus of McGill, I was shocked to learn that Remembrance Day is not a holiday in Canada.

  2. Jay says:

    Tom,

    it is most provinces – welcome to quebec.

  3. Jacques says:

    Please note that it is not just in Quebec that Remembrance Day is not a holiday. The other provinces are NS, NWT, ON. A number of countries, including UK, do not have it as an official holiday either. A number of countries have selected to celebrate their veterans at other times, such as on the 8th of May (end of 2nd world war). To my knowledge the US does not officially celebrate the 8th of May. I am not shocked by this fact. Please stop considering the US as a reference for everything and be grateful to Canada for letting you study in one of the greatest university in North America.

  4. Pierrick says:

    Jay and Tom, to clarify the issue, I would like to point out that in addition to Québec, Remembrance Day is also not a holiday in New-Brunswick, Nova-Scotia and Ontario. Together, these four provinces represent some 23 400 000 Canadians. And yes, that means 2/3 of Canada’s population. In that regard, Jay’s comment “welcome to quebec”, which suggests that Québec is some sort of exception, seems unfounded. To further the discussion, I remind you that NDP’s MP Dan Harris has introduced a bill before the House of Commons which would make Remembrance Day a national statutory holiday. The bill received approval in principle on Wednesday.

  5. Georges Gohier says:

    I should point out that rememberance day services are held in the UK – on the Sunday that preceeds 11 November.

    I should also point out that, because 11 November is not a statutory holliday, our youth are in school & have an oportunity to participate in an organised & structured Rememberance assembly… VS staying at home & being outside playing street Hockey…. and that’s not a bad thing!

  6. Tom says:

    “Please stop considering the US as a reference for everything and be grateful to Canada for letting you study in one of the greatest university in North America.”

    Totally unncalled for!

  7. Ginger says:

    I actually like that Remembrance Day is not a holiday. I feel that more people take a moment to note the occasion at work or in school than they would if they had the day off. Then it would be just another day off.

Post a Comment

  1. You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>