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Miners remembrance in Springhill

Published on June 11, 2017

People laid wreaths at the Miners Memorial Sunday afternoon.

©Dave Mathieson - Amherst News

SPRINGHILL, N.S. – Coal miners were remembered during a Davis Day ceremony Sunday afternoon at the Springhill Miners memorial.

Davis Day ceremonies were held throughout Nova Scotia Sunday afternoon.

Miners remember included those killed in three major mining disasters in Springhill:

1891 explosion – 125 miners were killed

1956 explosion – 39 miners were killed

1958 bump – 75 miners were killed

Davis Day

Davis Day is named after William Davis, a coal miner from Cape Breton who was shot and killed at 11 a.m. on June 11, 1925, near New Waterford during a labour dispute between miners and the British Empire Steel Corporation (BESCO).

In an attempt to intimidate the striking workers and break the union, BESCO shut down the water supply and electricity to New Waterford.

On June 11, 1925, up to 3,000 striking miners marched to the Waterford Lake pumping station and power plant to persuade the power plant workers to join the strike.

BESCO had their company police force at the pumping station and the fired more than 300 shots into the crowd. One of those shots killed Davis instantly.

On June 14, 1925, more than 5,000 people attended Davis’ funeral.

Claire Canning was the master of ceremonies. She watches as a wreath was laid. It was a very windy day so the wreaths were brought indoors after the ceremony but will be brought back outside after the wind subsides.

©Dave Mathieson - Amherst News

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