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Stoney Creek Branch - Delayed Opening
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United Empire Loyalist Statue
The ceremony itself was provided with music by the band of the Ninety-First Highlanders Regiment (under the direction of Capt. H. A. Stares), as well as singing by several hundred school children. The statue was covered by a large Union Jack at the beginning of the ceremony and surrounded by girl guides, boy scouts and a detail of cadets. Following salutes by these groups, a series of wreaths were placed at the foot of the statue by the Canadian club, represented by F. I. Ker and John A. Webber, president and immediate past-president of the organization, the Women's Wentworth Historical Society, and the Central collegiate cadets.
Mayor William Burton, the chairman of the unveiling ceremony, gave a speech. He noted his "great pride, pleasure and appreciation," of Mr. and Mrs. Mills, the donors of the monument. He also predicted that the statue "would stand for all time as a perpetual memorial to those hardy people of Canada's earliest days." Stanley Mills, donor of the monument, spoke briefly, expressing his gratitude in the successful fruition of months of preparation work and of his appreciation of the co-operation he had with city and county officials.
A dedicatory prayer was then given by the Rev. Dr. J. E. Hughson, which was followed by the keynote address, given by Col. C. R. McCullough. He noted of the statue that "the courage of the father and the faith of the mother, irradiating their distinguished faces, will not fail to inspire this and future generations in every circumstance of private or public misfortune and lead the young folk of this community to venerate the virtues by which true character is built." Following McCullough's speech, Mrs. Mills unveiled the great monument, much to the joy of the assembled crowd. A beautiful bouquet of roses, a gift of Mrs. J. A. C. Cameron, was then given to Mrs. Mills.
In 1956, the Wentworth County Court House, which the United Empire Loyalist monument sits in front of, was demolished to clear the site so that a new Court House could be built. The Hamilton branch of the United Empire Loyalist Association protested the destruction of the statue's base. The statue itself had been moved, to avoid damage, but the base had not. The Association had assumed that the base would be moved too, until it was destroyed. Aside from the fact that the base had been made from a very valuable type of limestone, there was also the matter of the missing cornerstone box. The United Empire Loyalist Association feared that the box had been destroyed along with the pedestal, and demanded an explanation for this action. Alvin Prack, an architect working on the project, claimed that there had been no sign of the box or any crevice in which it could have been placed when the monument was removed. He also commented on the fact that he had not been informed of the box, or of the value of the old limestone, until the day the pedestal was removed. A search began for the missing cornerstone box and eventually it was found, still intact.
A second base was designed for the monument, although somewhat lower than the original (due to the fact that the building behind it was now a lower building). The new pedestal was made of the exact same stone as the original, taken from the same place, the battlefields at Queenston Heights. A rededication ceremony was held on June 25th, 1958. The rededication ceremony was attended by Governor General, the Rt. Hon. Vincent Massey. In his speech, he pointed out that "None has had a nobler motive than the movement of the Loyalists to Canada." Edwin Mills, nephew to the original donor Stanley Mills, was also present at the ceremony to place a new cornerstone box containing historic items into the pedestal of the statue. When the new Court House was officially opened, the statue was back in its place in front of the main entrance.
Clipping File. Hamilton - Memorials - United Empire Loyalists Monument. Special Collections, HPL.
Our Heritage Scrapbook v. 5. Local History & Archives, HPL (917.1352 OUR)
Our Heritage Scrapbook v. 6. Local History & Archives, HPL (917.1352 OUR)
The United Empire Loyalists, 1929 (971.024 UNI)