WILNO – The Day of Mourning service in Wilno met a solemn milestone this year.
On the evening of April 28, around 40 people gathered for the tenth annual ceremony on Shrine Hill. It is part of National Day of Mourning, which pays tribute to the people injured or killed at the workplace.
The event was co-founded by Diane Kutchkoskie, whose husband was injured on the job, and by the late Barney McCaffrey.
Nationally, the Day of Mourning officially began in 1991 and fell on April 28 to coincide with the anniversary of the comprehensive worker’s compensation act (WSIB.)
In fact, this year marks the 100th anniversary since the worker’s compensation act was passed into Ontario law.
Commencing the local event was Julie Jeffrey, a Valley Manor employee, who laid a wreath at the monument on Shrine Hill on behalf of the United Steelworkers Union.
Retired United Minister James Allman was then invited to speak. He said it is important for affected workers and their families to realize they are not alone.
Madawaska Valley Township Mayor David Shulist thanked Kutchkoskie for organizing the event year after year. He added that it is important to never forget the people who have died on the job.
Stanley Pecoskie, councillor for Killaloe-Hagarty-Richards Township, represented Mayor Janice Visneskie Moore who was unable to attend the ceremony.
Pecoskie said he has witnessed many workplace injuries.
“Everybody hopes to come home at night after the day’s work is done,” he explained.
Following the dignitaries, two affected families were invited to speak about their experiences.
Get your April 30, 2014 edition of The Valley Gazette to read this full story.