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‘A night to honour the men who lost their lives’

Oct. 23 will mark the 60th anniversary of the Springhill Bump that took the lives of 75 miners. A hymn sing is being planned for St. Andrews-Wesley United Church in Springhill beginning at 7 p.m. with performances by an ecumenical choir, the daughters of Maurice Ruddick, Lloyd and Marg Fisher and others.
Oct. 23 will mark the 60th anniversary of the Springhill Bump that took the lives of 75 miners. A hymn sing is being planned for St. Andrews-Wesley United Church in Springhill beginning at 7 p.m. with performances by an ecumenical choir, the daughters of Maurice Ruddick, Lloyd and Marg Fisher and others. - Contributed

Hymn sing planned to mark Springhill Bump 60th anniversary

SPRINGHILL, N.S. - It has been 60 years since Springhill suffered its third, and final, mining disaster.

On Oct. 23, the community will gather at St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church to remember the men who lost their lives in the Bump, their families and those that survived.

The hymn sing begins at 7 p.m. and is being organized by Clare Canning and Jim Scopie.

“It’s a night to honour the men who lost their lives as well as their families,” said Canning, whose 32-year-old father, William Turnbull, lost his life in the deepest part of the mine when the Bump occurred.

Lt. Stephen Toynton of the Salvation Army will serve as emcee for the event, with Rev. Wayne McCarther doing a reading. There will be performances by an ecumenical choir of community members.

The evening will include a performance by the three daughters of the singing miner, Maurice Ruddick. They’ll sing a song written by their late father while other performers will include Gerald Davis, Andrew Lloyd and Marg Fisher and Canning.

At 8:06 p.m., the time of the Bump in 1958, the hymn sing will halt with a moment of silence followed by the reading of the names of the 75 miners who lost their lives in the disaster. The reading of each name will be accompanied by the ringing of a hand bell.

Canning will then sing Rita McNeil’s Working Man and the hymn sing will continue.

She said Scopie, who is also performing the night of the hymn sing, has played a huge role in helping her organize the event.

“It’s not really a church service,” Canning said. “When I was talking to my sister, Cathy, after Miner’s Memorial Day, we talked about what we should do to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Bump. Instead of having a church service, we talked about having a hymn sing that everyone could attend.”

Canning was just five months old when her father lost his life. She was the youngest of four children. Her older siblings were seven, five and two. 

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