The 91st William Davis Miner’s Memorial Day was observed Saturday in Stellarton.
Prayers were offered by Father Angus MacDougall and Rev. Charles McPherson, music was provided by the Pictou County Brass and Reed Band as well as Hannah Fraser. Stellarton town councillor Judith MacLellan conducted the welcome presentation.
Rev. Dr. Glen Matheson served as guest speaker for the memorial and served to humanize William “Billy” Davis, the miner who was shot and killed on June 11, 1925 during a protest at a mine in New Waterford. Davis’ death was later designated in his honour by the United Mine Workers of America and miners in Nova Scotia vowed to never work on June 11.
Matheson described Davis as something of a plucky, hard worker of “about five foot nothing” but also shed light on his death and the events that followed.
It is typically reported that Davis was shot in the heart by a police officer and died instantly, although Matheson said Davis actually survived for several minutes after the shooting and that a member of the mine’s management team tried to take Davis to hospital – and was consequently dismissed and stripped of his pension and company home.
The service, held at the Stellarton Miner’s Monument, was attended by approximately 50 people.