Monthly Archives: November 2011

Hamilton remembers on Remembrance Day

The 93rd Annual Remembrance Day Memorial Service took place at the Gore Park Cenotaph in honour of soldiers past and present.

The ceremony started at 10:45 a.m. with a Parade of Attention welcome by John Clarke, Chairman of the Hamilton Veterans Committee.

Mayor Bob Bratina then took to the podium to welcome everyone. In his address, he said that Remembrance Day is “more than just about World War Two,” it’s about everyone who has served or is serving our country.

“I know over 285 names from one unit and I’ve never forgot them,” said Ron Cosby, a Vietnam war veteran who says many Canadians fought in Vietnam. “A lot of people don’t realize [that Canadians served in Vietnam]… I served with the 101st Airborne Division.”

“I’ve lost friends and had buddies messed up in Afghanistan,” said Corporal Steve Wright, who is still serving with the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry. He said he’s attending to remember everyone who courageously fought for us.

After Mayor Bratina’s words, “O Canada” officially opened the ceremony. Played by the Dundas Concert Band, it was boisterously sung – echoing off the downtown buildings in a great display of patriotism. Later, the war veterans of different ages laid wreaths in what was an emotional moment.

Following the wreath-laying, “In Flanders Fields” was quietly recited by those attending. The two minutes silence that preceded John McCrae’s timeless poem were undisturbed except for the church bells mournfully ringing around the Cenotaph.

“Six church bells throughout the city rang during the two moments silence,” said Mayor Bratina during the closing remarks about the new addition to the ceremony. The six memorial bells were from churches throughout the downtown.

As the service came to an end a Lancaster Bomber from the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum thunderously flew over the city as a reminder of our freedom.


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Somali women of Hamilton share their story through pictures

Homegrown Hamilton Café hosted the “Pathway & Barriers” exhibit, a photographic presentation of the struggles faced by female refugees from Somalia in Hamilton.

The exhibit was created by the Immigrant Women’s Centre (located on Barton Street and Nash) not only to present the struggles that newly arrived immigrants to Hamilton face, but also the help the Centre provides. The photographs in the presentation were taken by one of seven Somali women who participated in this exhibit. Under the photos were captions by one of the women explaining the idea in the picture.

“IWC helps a lot of newcomers with education and job searching,” said Deqa, a Somalian woman who has been in Canada since 1999. She’s managed to go to school and now helps new arrivals with their English. Along with help in education the women also explain other obstacles in their community.

Like Salado, who says in a caption below the picture of a bus stop in Hamilton that she “doesn’t feel safe at times” and that people need to stop discriminating because it hurts her feelings. Salado’s lived in Canada for 8 years and like the others she volunteers at teaching new Somalians in the community.

The other women included in their photographs scenarios they faced that the IWC’s Leading and Learning workshop (an eight week workshop program funded by Immigration Canada) can have a positive effect on. This workshop allows participants to use their experiences to help newcomers as peer support workers and become leaders in their communities. The IWC says their goal of the exhibit is to raise awareness “over the challenges and successes that many newcomers face”.

The women also voiced other concerns over life in Hamilton, such as poor housing, troubles with public transit, finding jobs,  and the importance of community centers.

“The Immigrants Women’s Centre asked if we would be interested in this and we said yes… it was a worthwhile project,” Tim Lidster, Homegrown Hamilton Café owner said about the exhibit.

The exhibit will be on display at the café from October 13th to Nov 4, between 11:00am and 2:00pm.

Homegrown Hamilton Café is located at 27 King William St, Hamilton, ON.

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