Letter to the editor – “A Forgotten Memorial”


Dear Editor,

Thank you David Shanahan for writing the article entitled, “A Forgotten Memorial”, in the Aug. 5, 2020 edition of the NGTIMES.

The Deek’s Quarry cairn, erected to commemorate the workers who died while working at their jobs in the quarry, should continue to exist as a reminder to the public of those who died while building part of the important economic infrastructure of this country.

To properly exist as a reminder, it must be in a state that is close to its original condition, and in a place accessible to the public. That a group of citizens from Merrickville would have their efforts to move and restore this important memorial frustrated by the overly convoluted and complicated workings of government is an abomination.

If they are still so inclined, allow the Merrickville group to move the memorial to Merrickville and emplace and restore it on the green space next to the cenotaph. That way, the memorial will be visible, accessible, and informative to the public. A sign or plaque could be placed at the quarry site if some of the public wished to see the original location of the memorial.

In 2017, there were 951 workplace fatalities in Canada. These are typical yearly numbers. 843 deaths were in construction, manufacturing, and trade, transport, and equipment operators. 920 (96.74%) were men, and 31 (3.26%) women. The most dangerous occupations are 1) Fishing and trapping; 2) Mining, quarrying, and oil wells; 3) Logging and forestry; 4) Construction; 5) Transportation and storage.

Some who study these statistics believe the actual numbers of workplace fatalities are as much as ten times higher due to such factors as the non-inclusion of workers exempt from workplace occupational coverage, stress induced suicides, commuting fatalities, and occupational disease. In the 2018 numbers (1027 fatalities), 64 farming deaths were not included.

We must remember these people.

Stephen Hammond


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