Annual Memorial Service held at Rail Trail

Saugeen Rail Trail Memorial Gardens in Southampton was established in remembrance of loved ones and, each year, a memorial service is held.

Founded in partnership with the Town of Saugeen Shores and the Saugeen Rail Trail Association (SRTA), the gardens are located at Peel and Grosvenor Streets at the Southampton Rotary Trail Head and are maintained by the SRTA and Friends/Volunteers of the Gardens.

On August 12th, people gathered in the Gardens to remember family members, many of whom have had a tree planted in remembrance.

Mayor Mike Smith recounted his days growing up in Southampton and said how he remembered when the Rail Trail first started following the removal of trains and their tracks.

                         Mayor Mike Smith

“Today, we have a wonderful Trail system that people use on a daily basis,” said Smith.  “Without the volunteers, this would never have happened.”

Rev. Bob Johnston, SRTA Padre, officiated at the service and recited in part, the poem ‘The Dash’ by Linda Ellis.

“I read of a man who stood to speak at a funeral of a friend. 
He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning … to the end.
He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke of the following date with tears,
but said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time they spent alive on earth
and now only those who loved them know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own, the cars..the house…the cash. 
What matters is how we lived and loved  … and how we spent our dash.”
Joyce Scammell, past-President and Public Relations of the SRTA. welcomed those who had gathered and, on behalf of the SRTA, accepted a donation from the family of

Kenneth Diebel.

Joyce Scammel (R) accepts donation from Marion McKenzie

Diebel died when Hurricane Hazel swept through southern Ontario resulting in a train crash in Southampton.  Today, there is a viewing platform at the site of the crash on the Rail Trail in Southampton and a bench in memory of Diebel at the Memorial Gardens.