Honouring frontline workers and honouring workers killed, injured and made sick came together in one event that event initiator Grey Bruce Labour Council VP, Chris Stephen, was thrilled to lead and even more thrilled with the outcome.
Stephen, in reflecting on the event, “April 28th should have been a day where people gathered to solemnly remember workers killed, injured and made sick in workplaces around the world. COVID-19 had its own ideas about these gatherings, but as is demonstrated by our history we overcame this. People not only came out and honoured workers by mourning for the dead and committing to fight for the living as we started the drive, but they also came out to celebrate all workers as so many workers face down this pandemic each and every minute they are in the workplace. Seeing our Labour Council, Council Affiliates and the Community come out like they did on the 28th supports everything I believe in when I say we have the best of people in our communities in Grey and Bruce”.
Suggesting the driving salute, Chris Stephen started the ball rolling at the most recent Labour Council virtual meeting. The national day of mourning has been around for decades, but it is unlikely any of those past days ended with a horn tooting, flags held high and hand waving procession throughout the town. The Grey Bruce Labour Council has the privilege of chairing three day of mourning ceremonies in
our region each year and looks forward to the 2021 ceremonies where we will hopefully be able to gather.
“Stephen would have led the Owen Sound day of mourning ceremony and will in 2021. In 2021, and going forward, annual day of mourning ceremonies will always have an added dimension. We will always have the memory of our brave frontline workers who have become sick and in some tragic cases have succumbed to COVID-19”, says Labour Council President, Kevin Smith. All those in the driving salute want to say how much we appreciate all workers and in the current situation, our frontline workers.
Those in the driving salute may have thought they were encouraging and thanking workers, but Dave Trumble, Labour Council VP, said “the sight of workers waving back, giving thumbs up and clapping gave all those in the driving salute at least as much in the way of good feelings back”.
The Grey Bruce Labour Council wants to thank all those that took part in the driving salute and abiding by physical distancing directives, but we must thank the folks from Absalute Auto for protecting the safety of the participants and our community partners that took the time to report on this heartwarming event.