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Friday, April 29, 2016

2016 National Day of Mourning cermony in Pincher Creek

Gathering for the ceremony
T. Lucas photos

"Now when I hear of, or read about someone lost or seriously injured at their workplace, I immediately think of the enormous domino effect that it has. The families and friends, co-workers, first responders, and medical professionals are just the first in a very long line of those who share the burden of trauma."- Councillor Lorne Jackson



Toni Lucas

The Town of Pincher Creek commemorated Canada's National Day of Mourning with a ceremony held outside Town Hall beside the flag of Canada at half-mast on Thursday, April 28 at 11:00 am. Approximately 30 people attended.  It was a chill and gloomy day, even the weather adopting the solemn tone of the event. Mayor Don Anderberg said,"The National Day of Mourning, or Workers’ Mourning Day is observed in Canada on 28 April. It commemorates workers who have been killed, injured or suffered illness due to workplace related hazards and incidents." There were speeches from Don Anderberg, Councillor Lorne Jackson. After a moment of silence Pastor Stephen Harcourt recited a prayer.


Mayor Don Anderberg and Councillor Lorne Jackson

Mayor Anderberg read a statement. "Injuries and deaths in the workplace continue to be a matter of important concern across Canada. Many Canadians members work hard each day in an effort to minimize accidents and incidents. Risk is an inherent element of many jobs, and this is why safety should be one of the core values in any workplace. Since its inception, the observance has spread to over 80 countries around the world, but is known is most other countries as the Workers' Memorial Day, commemorating those who have been hurt or killed in the workplace shows respect for the fallen, while serving as a reminder of the importance of occupational health and safety."

"Commemorating those who have been hurt or killed in the workplace shows respect for the fallen, while serving as a reminder of the importance of occupational health and safety. Workers and employees observe this day in various ways including lighting candles, donning ribbons and black armbands, and observing a moment of silence at 1100 hrs. The purpose of Day of Mourning is twofold- to remember and honour those lives lost or injured and to renew the commitment to improving health and safety in the workplace - to prevent further deaths, injuries and diseases from work." Anderberg reminded everyone in attendance, "Each workers death impacts the loved ones, families, friends and coworkers they leave behind, changing all of their lives forever."



Councillor Lorne Jackson closed the ceremony. "Good morning everyone, it’s so good to see so many here for this important observance. In closing, I want to communicate that this National Day of Mourning is an initiative that was first brought forward almost 35 years ago by Canadians. This in itself is something that we should all be cognizant, and extremely proud of. That it has now extended around the world is a huge testament to us in our great nation of caring people."

Jackson has personally lived through devastating workplace trauma when he suffered severe electrical burns the winter of 2005 after a grader he was running came into contact with a electrical line. He read, "More personally, as someone who has first hand experience of the devastating effects that a serious workplace incident can have; today holds special significance. Now when I hear of, or read about someone lost or seriously injured at their workplace, I immediately think of the enormous domino effect that it has. The families and friends, co-workers, first responders, and medical professionals are just the first in a very long line of those who share the burden of trauma."

"Because of that, on this day of mourning and remembering, my ask is that you also take the time to recognize those among us who have suddenly found themselves thrust into dealing with the loss of, or injury to a loved one who was simply doing something most of us do all of the time; working for a living. We as a community should always consider ourselves part of a greater support system for those of us in situations like this. I’m most grateful to say that my family experienced it immeasurably in our own time of greatest need. Along with that emotional support for our friends, we can all help by doing our level best to identify and report workplace hazards in the continuing effort to prevent serious workplace injuries and deaths from ever happening in the first place. Thank you."

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