News Release Archive

Mining communities across Nova Scotia are taking time out today
to mark Davis Day in memory of Bill Davis, a Cape Breton miner
killed during a protest on June 11, 1925. It is also known as
Miners' Memorial Day, recognizing all miners killed on the job in
Nova Scotia.

Davis Day has its roots in New Waterford, originating with the
miners' strike of 1925. In retaliation to the strike, the mining
company cut off the water supply to the town. The community
responded with a march on the water pumping station at Waterford
Lake to try to restore services.

In a resulting confrontation, Mr. Davis was shot and killed by
coal company security forces. Since that day, June 11 has been
known as Davis Day. In most mining towns, the day is observed as
civic holiday and the collieries are shut. Over the years, the
day has evolved to become a day of remembrance for all workers
killed in mines. This year, ceremonies are taking place in Sydney
Mines, Springhill, River Hebert and Stellarton.

"Today is a day to remember the past, to focus on the challenges
of the present and to work together for the future," said Guy
Brown, agriculture and marketing minister, representing the
province at ceremonies in Springhill and River Hebert. "We have a
long history of mining in Nova Scotia. It's important to remember
the good and the bad so we can learn and move forward."

In Sydney Mines, Ray Kearney laid a wreath in memory of his
great-grandfather, Bill Davis.

"It's a real honour to be here to pay respect to my
great-grandfather," said Mr. Kearney, who works with the
Department of Labour in Halifax. "He's become part of the history
of Nova Scotia's mining and labour community. I'm proud to do my
part to carry on his memory."

Labour Minister Manning MacDonald, attending a meeting of the
Atlantic labour ministers in Prince Edward Island, also noted the
importance of the day.

"While the day has its roots in tragedy, it also carries a
message of hope for the future. It's important to remember the
past, so we can make positive changes for the future. Government
is committed to working with Nova Scotians to protect workers in
all workplaces across the province."

The United Mineworkers are the organizers of Davis Day events
across Nova Scotia.


Contact: Jennifer MacIsaac
         Department of Labour
         902-424-3219 or 902-424-4680

trp                     June 11, 1997 - 3:45 p.m.