Progress with the Mausoleum Restoration
The Cemeteries Regulation Section of the Ministry of Consumer and Business Services has become concerned about the deterioration and loss of pioneer cemeteries in recent years. Mr. Michael D'Mello (1-416-326-8393) of that branch works hand-in-hand with the Ontario Genealogical Society (1-416-489-0734) in the preservation of our province's rich history.
Mike suggested that I contact the Trillium Foundation, which is an agency with the Ministry of Culture (probably the office in the Halton-Peel region would be best), and he forwarded a copy of my email to Tamara Anson-Cartwright at the Ministry of Culture since she "specializes in Monument Restorations and has written a book on the subject". While some municipalities are able to arrange trust funds and tax breaks to encourage the restoration of buildings in pioneer settings, the Hamilton Cemetery Board was unable to do so.
The purpose of this page is to keep a pictorial record of the progress towards a reasonable restoration of the mausoleum, befitting the old pioneer section of Waterdown's Union Cemetery.
You will note that this page is a "work in progress" itself. My enthusiasm about this project has inspired me to update Henry Ward's The McGregor Story for a second printing. All kinds and varieties of assistance will make a significant difference. One day I hope that this progress report will more closely resemble the efforts by the Clan Ross Association of Canada at the Kildonan Pioneer Cemetery near Winnipeg, Manitoba. While it may be true that I am not a society which can share the expenses around, I am concerned that this eye-sore be restored to a more presentable condition.
Restoration of the McGregor Ross Plaque
On August 29 at 1:00 PM, Stan Hutchinson of the Hamilton Memorials Limited met me at the pioneer section of the cemetery where we discussed the ongoing work on the mausoleum. He can be justly proud of the plaque produced from African granite, and I am most happy with the results of this first stage in the restoration. [CLICK on the following photos to obtain a larger size.] [Observation: Most of the graffiti on the exterior walls had been removed since my previous visit. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!]
I arrived at the mausoleum prior to lunchtime on October 20 and met John Macdonell, President of Mac's Metalworks, and his high school student (on a "work experience" programme). They were completing some last minute work on the gate, but we managed to discuss a bit of the mausoleum's history. I returned at 1:00 PM and met Steve Clarke (Cemetery Supervisor of West End Cemeteries with the Hamilton Cemeteries Office), where we discussed the restoration of the vault and The McGregor Story associated with it. As John Macdonell and his assistant returned, I was handing Steve the second set of keys. [The new lock for the gate was difficult to fit . . . probably due to the narrowness of the shank rather than the length, I'd guess.] After the mention of Longshanks, pun intended, this led to a further chat about Scottish history . . . and John and I found some common ground in the story of Culloden. The following photos commemorate the occasion of this second phase in the restoration of the mausoleum. [CLICK on the following photos to obtain a larger size.]