Brookside Cemetery tour teaches history

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 09/10/2020 (963 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Last week I had the pleasure of taking part in a tour of Brookside Cemetery, located at 3001 Notre Dame Ave.

The tour was hosted by Paul Moist, a former president of the Canadian Union of Public Employees.

The topic of the tour was the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike, as several prominent leaders of the movement are buried there.

Supplied photo Paul Moist (above) regularly leads tours of Brookside Cemetery, where many prominent participants in the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike are buried.

Paul used his extensive knowledge of the history of social movements and labour to educate us on the strike, teaching us that it was the largest general strike in Canadian history, with 20 per cent of all Winnipeggers (35,000 workers) taking part.

The strike lasted six weeks and ended soon after ‘Bloody Saturday’ — a day when violence broke out between the government and strikers, resulting in two strikers being killed by RCMP, both whom are buried in Brookside Cemetery.

Paul taught us that, around the time of the strike, Winnipeggers were facing some of the same challenges we face today, such as poverty wages, a global pandemic, anti-immigrant racist sentiments, poor housing and the general unaffordability of life.

Along with being the final resting place of many important figures from the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike, Brookside Cemetery is also home to one of the largest and oldest municipal military fields of honour in Canada, with more than 10,000 veterans and their families buried and remembered there.

The tour was very informative and also very scenic. The cemetery is lined with old trees and very well-maintained, making it quite beautiful. I think it is a very fitting memorial for these important Winnipeggers and military service people.

The cemetery is also one of Winnipeg’s oldest, as it dates back to 1878 and was designed by the same person who designed the Assiniboine park.

I found it very interesting to learn more about Winnipeg history but also to visit part of my constituency I had never been to before.

I would like to encourage others to go take the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike tour with Paul Moist — held the last Sunday of every month from May through September — and to experience this beautiful cemetery and a piece of Winnipeg history.

Please email paulmoist@gmail.com to set up a tour.

If you have questions, comments or concerns I can be reached at malaya.marcelino@yourmanitoba.ca or by phone at 204-788-0800.

Malaya Marcelino

Malaya Marcelino
Notre Dame constituency report

Malaya Marcelino is the NDP MLA for Notre Dame.

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