Letter to the editor – A Forgotten Monument


Dear Editor,

I am pleased to agree with Stephen Hammond’s remarks on David Shanahan’s article “A forgotten Monument” about the Sons of Martha Monument that once stood in Deeks Quarry. Surely we are beyond the near acrimonious debate of years past, and can work cooperatively to reestablish the cairn.

Given Harry McLean lived and worked in Merrickville, the memorial to his fallen workers would be appropriate for the community. Let the Merrickville and District Historical Society and the North Grenville Historical Society, with other pertinent partners, take the lead on a relocation project. This is not a venture to be sidetracked by petty parochial interests.

Deeks Quarry is not an accessible tourist venue suitable to honour fallen workers. For the history minded, the quarry is an impressive site for visible industrial archaeology of the excavation laced by rail beds while the shops and office complex is long swallowed by forest.

The Sons of Martha, written by Rudyard Kipling in 1907, celebrates the care and dedication of labourers, engineers, and mechanics. In 1922, Kipling adapted the poem to be part of the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer performed at Canadian universities by graduating engineers.

Michael Whittaker


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