HALIFAX, N.S.–The Halifax Women’s History Society announced that CN has donated $100,000 to the society’s first project, A Woman on the Waterfront, a monument honouring the thousands of women who volunteered their time and labour during wartime.
“During the Second World War, women gave untold hours of service in aid of war and relief work,” said Dr. Janet Guildford, chair of the Halifax Women’s History Society board of directors. “Although there were well-known women in Halifax society who coordinated many of the efforts, the work was largely carried out by thousands of anonymous women across the province.
“The first monument to honor Halifax women, The Volunteers-Les Bénévoles will honour and commemorate women’s volunteer work,” Guildford continued. “CN played an immense role in the war effort and today we thank CN for once again making a difference in helping bring this monument to the waterfront.”
The Society will erect the monument on the Halifax waterfront. Halifax is a naval port and crucial gateway through which military troops and convoys — the lifeline for war-torn Britain — went to and from Europe during both world wars.
“Throughout the war periods, CN trains carried troops, family members and materials to and from Halifax,” said Robert Pace, chairman of the board of directors of CN. “Today we are proud to support the society’s efforts to honour the remarkable work of thousands of Halifax women whose own role has been largely untold.”
“Throughout our history, CN has played an important role in connecting Canadians with our past and with each other,” said Halifax Mayor Mike Savage. “I am so pleased this generous donation will help the Halifax Women’s History Society put a Woman on the Waterfront to honour the role women have played in shaping the city and country we are today.”
The home for the monument will be at the Halifax Seaport, an arts and culture district found at the south end of the Halifax waterfront. Through an agreement with the Halifax Port Authority, the monument will be placed and maintained on their property between the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market and the Halifax Port Authority Administration building.
“We are honoured that the Society has chosen the Halifax Seaport as the home for The Volunteers-Les Bénévoles,” said Karen Oldfield, President and CEO, Port of Halifax. “It is a great tribute to the many women who volunteered on the waterfront, contributing to our city and country during the war. Thank you to CN for its support of this historical and cultural monument that will be a significant addition to our public art at the Seaport, to educate our local community and the millions of visitors who will walk by it.”
The Volunteers-Les Bénévoles monument on the waterfront will feature three bronze figures commemorating Halifax women and the society plans to have it in place in 2017. In addition to the monument, interpretive panels would illustrate through text and photographs some of the many projects that women carried out during this period.