The folks of Chesley and area packed a lot of ideas onto this lovely memorial, dedicated on July 25, 1925. It stands in a small park on 1st Avenue S, across from the post office.
A postcard of the time describes the Soldiers Memorial as “a cenotaph memorial with a shaft of 30 ft 10 inches. In front of the shaft is the 7 ft figure of Offended Justice holding the sword of Justice in her right hand and the Book of the Law in her left.”
In addition to the names of local soldiers and the usual list of battles (Vimy Ridge, Mons, The Somme, Cambrai, Arras, Passchendaele, Ypres, Sanctuary Hill, Amiens, Festubert), each side has a dedication:
West (front): To the immortal honour of the men of Chesley and vicinity who fell in the Great War, this memorial is dedicated in proud and grateful remembrance. Pro patria 1914 – 1919.
North: To commemorate the unconquerable valour of the Canadians who fought in the Great War.
East: They shall not grow old as we grow old / age shall not wither them / nor the years condemn / at the going down of the sun / and in the morning / we shall remember them.
South: To perpetuate in the hearts of the people ideals of justice, freedom, sacrifice and peace.
I’ve been unsuccessful in my search for the designer of the monument.
This Friday, April 17, marks the 33rd anniversary of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the repatriation of the Canadian Constitution. The Canadian Bar Association and other legal groups mark the occasion with Law Day, to inform people about the role and importance of the law and the justice system. (Not all Law Day activities are on the same day, so look for the dates in your community.)
In the US, the President first declared May 1 as Law Day in 1958, to mark the nation’s commitment to the rule of law. You can learn more from the American Bar Association or local bar association.
Chesley’s figure of Offended Justice is a reminder of the value of the rule of law, and what we lose without it … the ideals of justice, freedom, sacrifice and peace. I like this monument!