Beechwood Way - Winter 2024 - Vol 27

WITH THE START of a new year, the Beechwood Cemetery Foundation Team has been in full planning mode. We have been looking to work with different cultural groups and organizations to provide an interesting and educational series of historical evenings, where an expert will explore the history and heritage of different communities that make up the fabric of our city.

In January, we welcomed Donna McCart Sharkey who shared her book Death in the Family: Stories Obituaries Tell and her passion in reading and collecting obituaries and how important they are to tell a story of the life of a person.

In February, we celebrate everything that makes Ottawa a great city. This event welcomes two historians who will discuss their findings on two different periods of Bytown/Ottawa history with Paul Weber, a musical historian, playing a few songs between the two guest historians.

In March, Michael McBane will share the previously untold story of Bytown’s Sisters of Charity and the extraordinary actions undertaken to save the lives of the Irish Famine Refugees. He will also draw on his expertise of Ottawa’s Irish history and delve into the many people buried at Beechwood who played a role during that period.

In April, it’s National Tartan Day, and we celebrate of Scottish heritage and the cultural contributions of Scottish and Scottish-diaspora figures of history accompanied by a bagpiper performance by the Sons of Scotland piper band.

Later in April, we will host an evening with the Khayrhaye Somali Cultural Museum Centre, where we will explore and celebrate the history, culture, and heritage of Ottawa’s Somali Community. Beechwood Cemetery Foundation is proud to welcome Hersi Osman and Kaltoun Mussa, directors and historians at the Khayrhaye Somali Cultural Museum Centre. The Centre has carefully selected several unique artifacts to share as part of the evening. Each artifact tells a story of the community and how the Centre has worked to preserve and save them for generations.

We also are working on different commemorations and ceremonies to honour the members of the Canadian Armed Forces, Veterans, RCMP, CSIS and Ottawa Police Service. We have also been working on new tours, with different themes that focus on specific sections and communities. More details later in this issue. We hope you join us for different events in 2024.