Today is Labour Day in Canada and the US – a day to celebrate workers. Like other groups in society, many companies saw fit to memorialize their employees who had served in the war.
For much of the 20th century, Westinghouse was one of the largest employers in Hamilton. Its plaque “to the memory of the employees of the Canadian Westinghouse Company Limited, who gave their lives in the war against Germany and her allies” is in a shady corner of Hamilton Cemetery. Sixty-five names are listed. The tablet “further commemorates the services of 712 other employees of the company, their comrades-in-arms, who fought for King and country.”
There are several decorative elements on the tablet:
- On top, flags are arrayed behind the Great Seal of Canada.
- Maple leaves form a background for the years 1914 and 1918.
- Torches are on the top corners.
- Battle names (18 in all) flank the centre panel of names.
- Corinthian columns separate the panels.
- Below the names in the centre panel are excerpts from John McCrae’s In Flanders Fields and Laurence Binyon’s For the Fallen.
- Three bas reliefs depict air force, army and navy.
- The whole thing rests on top of a beaver.
Hamilton Cemetery is at 777 York Blvd. Westinghouse stopped operating in Hamilton about 20 years ago. Was the commemorative tablet always at the cemetery, or was it moved from the Westinghouse offices or plant?