AMHERST – Well known for capturing 50 merchant American ships during the War of 1812, Enos Collins was recognized for his wartime contributions Friday in a ceremony held at the Government of Canada building on Havelock Street. Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley MP Scott Armstrong was on hand to unveil the memorial plaque, officially renaming the building the Enos Collins building.
“He was war hero during (the War of 1812) that many people don’t know about,” said Armstrong. “As a historian myself, I was aware of Collins and some of the background history of him, not only as a war hero but as an entrepreneur.”
After creating a large fortune from the capture of the American vessels, Armstrong said Collins became one of the founders of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce.
“It’s incredible that we have these opportunities to celebrate such events in our history and pivotal characters in our history by renaming this federal buildings for them,” he added. “Hopefully we’ll have more and more young people learn about the history of our country and respect the history of our country.”
Also on hand at the ceremony was Amherst Deputy Mayor George Baker. Baker said he was excited for the unveiling of the plaque. Baker said the story behind Collins’ wartime contribution is great history but said it was important for the government to step up and recognize people who have been a great honour to our communities.
“I think that with the plaque going up, there are going to be a lot more tourists coming to Amherst,” he said. “Everything that we do in this way will draw people to our community. I know I have learned a lot today and I am glad that we get it out there. It’s another drawing card for the town of Amherst. We’re moving forward.”
Collins wasn’t the only war hero recognized with a memorial plaque. Three other buildings, all in Ontario, were named after Richard Pierpoint, John Norton and Tecumseh for their contributions during the War of 1812.
For more information on Enos Collins, visit www.canada-1812.ca/collins/