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African Heritage Month local launch Monday

NEW GLASGOW – The No. 2 Construction Battalion will receive some special attention Monday at a local launch for African Heritage Month Monday at Glasgow Square Theatre. 

This photo from 1916 shows the No. 2 Construction Battalion, which had headquarters in Pictou.

The launch and proclamation signing ceremony, which had traditionally been held annually in the Council Chambers of the New Glasgow Town Hall, is being moved to accommodate the larger crowds that have been in attendance in recent years. The event will take place at 11:45 a.m.

The theme for African Heritage Month 2016 is No. 2 Construction Battalion: Legacy of Commitment –They Fought to Fight.

"We are extremely pleased to present the launch of our town-sponsored African Heritage Month festivities with the African Nova Scotian North-Central Network and to have Wayn Hamilton, executive director, Office of Nova Scotia African Affairs attend the launch," said New Glasgow Mayor Barrie MacMillan.

"It will be our privilege to pay tribute to the No. 2 Construction Battalion during this year of their upcoming centennial milestone. The role of this Battalion in Canadian history is both inspiring and trail blazing. Their sacrifices and courage have brought honour to our community, province and nation and shaped the course of history."

Sylvia Parris, executive director of the Delmore “Buddy” Day Institute and a daughter of one of the No. 2 Construction Battalion members, will also be a special guest.  

“Ms. Parris is well known across Nova Scotia and beyond as an educational leader and we are looking forward to her reflections and insights,” said Kimberly Dickson, New Glasgow’s director of marketing and communications. 

“Throughout her career, Ms. Parris has also provided strategic leadership to both municipal and provincial governments as well as through her role as an educator in the public school system and as an active volunteer in numerous community organizations.”

Councillor Henderson Paris is chair of New Glasgow’s Race Relations and Anti-Discrimination Committee and co-Honorary chair of the Marathon of Respect and Equality, and said African Heritage Month is about celebrating successes and achievements and educating others about the supreme sacrifices endured by so many.

“By honouring the No. 2 Construction Battalion, this memorializes the past 100 years of a fighting struggle.”

Crystal States of the African Nova Scotian North-Central Network said this year’s theme has close ties to Pictou County.

The creation of the No. 2 Construction Battalion was located in the Town of Pictou under the command of Lieut. Col. Daniel H Sutherland, from River John. “Additionally, Captain Dan Murray, Medical Corp, acted as their doctor against the wishes of his peers. Dr. Murray was the grandfather of international music icon, Ann Murray and her brother, New Glasgow's Dr. Harold Murray, internist.  Once again, New Glasgow serves as a focal point for significant historical events.”

New Glasgow’s African Heritage Month launch will also feature musical performances by vocalist Angela Cromwell, local African drummers and a blessing by Rev. Dr. Moses B. Adekola of Second United Baptist Church in New Glasgow.

A finale social and dance for African Heritage Month will take place on Feb. 27 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tickets for the dance are $16, and will go on sale Monday at Glasgow Square Theatre Box Office. Tickets will also be available online at or call 1-888-311-9090.

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