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Walkerton Memorial

The Story

At the top of the small fountain, a granite memorial stone bears the following inscription: "Dedicated to the indomitable spirit of the people of Walkerton, to all who suffered and those who died." Governor General Adrienne Clarkson stands before a crowd of 1,000. She addresses the sombre crowd with words of encouragement and praise, as shown in this CBC Television special. "We see you have put on a brave face, especially when heartache and pain are still so close and so widely felt," Clarkson says. "Yet you are determined to look ahead to the future. And we are all -- your fellow citizens -- inspired by you." 

Medium: Television
Program: CBC Television News Special
Broadcast Date: June 16, 2001
Speaker: Adrienne Clarkson
Duration: 9:00
Anne Hébert - Referme l'eau
Frank R. Scott - In Time of Doubt
Jane Urquhart - The Stone Carvers, McClelland & Stewart Ltd.

Did You know?

• A heritage garden had been in mid-construction when the E. coli epidemic struck Walkerton. In the aftermath of the tragedy, Stratford resident David de Weerdt suggested expanding the original plans for the garden. Stratford festival head gardener Harry Jongerden designed the memorial garden.

• The garden was built with donations of $140,000 in money and materials. Volunteers constructed the garden.

• "It's a hard day for our family because we lost our mother Betty Trushinski on May 30th a year ago," Janice King told the CBC at the ceremony. "And this is a wonderful tribute to all that have suffered and have died, but there's still a lot of hurt in our family."

• A 2001 study commissioned by the Walkerton judicial inquiry found that Walkerton water tragedy cost approximately $64.5 million in direct costs. Real estate values were estimated to have dropped a total of $1.1 million. Town businesses spent $651,422 on bottled water, disinfecting and replacing equipment.


Death on Tap: The Poisoning of Walkerton more