Each year, a ceremony is held in memory of loved ones at the Saugeen Rail Trail Memorial Gardens at Peel and Grosvenor Streets.
Saugeen Shores Vice Deputy Mayor Mike Myatt., Rail Trail Chair Joyce Scammell and Trail Manager Gerry Boucher brought greetings from the Town of Saugeen Shores to a crowd of over 40 people recently at the Saugeen Rail Trail’s 13th Annual Memorial Service.
Photos submitted by Joyce Scammell
Jonathan Nicholson, son of the Nicholson family (who could not attend) shared his father’s words of his memories of Hurricane Disaster, where trees were planted in memory of the two trainmen who lost their lives in the Hurricane Hazel disaster. Today, there are over 53 memorials with the planting of trees, benches, a fountain, and enhancements.
Visiting guest speaker, Bob McEachern – curator of the Palmerston Railway Heritage Museum gave a most informative, animated historical, but gory record of the Hurricane Hazel Disaster.
The trains made their way to the Harbour of Refuge delivering supplies and furniture.
We were reminded that Ken Diebel, a young 17 year old machinist and survivor of the Hurricane Disaster carried the pain of that disaster for over 54 years as he witnessed that horrible sight of that terrible night. In 2008, he returned to the ‘place of pain’ for the first time… met the Nicholson family, where he broke down and cried….This time not flood waters, but an ’emotional flooding.’
THUS, OUR MEMORIAL GARDEN IS NOT ONLY A SAFE PLACE, BUT A HEALING PLACE.
The Memorial Service was concluded with the SRT Padre, Rev. Bob Johnston, who has faithfully officiated the Service for over 13 years. Special thanks were given… to the many caring volunteers and those who have adopted specific areas of the memorial gardens; to Jeff Hemming our passionate historical giving many long hours as well as Bert DeGraff — Graphic Designer – Muralist.
Also, thanks to The family and friendship gifts…*Friendship tree – Southampton Rotary, Retaining wall donated by the Port Elgin Home Hardware, Lawn series noted by the Weed Man, Elizabeth Hoheisell & Joyce Scammell for the Harbour of Refuge project and the Southampton Rotary for the building of the Memorial open gazebo and thus was named the “The Memorial Garden Trail Head”.