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The Scottish Catholics in Prince Edward Island 1772 - 1922
Chapter XXII


Whilst our thoughts thus go back to the early days of our Country, and lovingly dwell upon the coming of our forefathers, it is right that we glance over present conditions, and endeavor to understand the relationship that should exist between the Scottish Catholic celebration of 1922 and the future of our Country as a whole. It was not for idle show, nor to indulge a feeling of empty vanity that the movement was projected. It was rather to give practical expression to the feelings of gratitude, that dwell in the hearts of the present generation, and at the same time to teach the lesson that no people, who hope to live in history can afford to leave in oblivion the memory of those, whose early sacrifices prove the foundation of their present greatness.

A country without monuments is often a country without real national ambition. It is lacking in at least one of the strongest incentives, that go to create an active public spirit; and perhaps this is the reason, so many of the present generation in Prince Edward Island are so slow in assuming the burden of true citizenship, and in contributing according to their opportunities, towards the upbuilding of our common country. Monuments serve an excellent purpose in this regard. They reflect the glories of the past; they fire the enthusiasm of the present; they furnish lofty ideals begotten of what is best and noblest in our history, and stimulate to greater achievements by the example of those, whose names enshrined in stone and marble bid defiance to time and change.

"For to live in hearts we leave behind is not to die."

This is as yet a new country, comparatively speaking, and with the exception of the family headstones that deck our cemeteries, we are a people practically without monuments. Until latter years our people were so engrossed with the cares and difficulties of making a living, that they had little time to give to recording or commemorating the deeds of the past. But now, that a brighter era has dawned and easier circumstances prevail, it is right and just that they should turn their minds to a consideration of the various agencies, that have conspired to bring about the material and social development that obtains in the country at the present day; and in this way they will naturally be moved to revere the memory of the men and women of the past, whose whole-souled devotedness and spirit of sacrifice made present conditions possible. Theirs it was to fell the forest, and clear the land amid circumstances that to a weaker race would have been intolerable; and surely it is the bounden duty of those, who reap in comfort the harvest they sowed amid incredible privations, to cherish their fair fame, and to see to it that their memory shall not fade from the land, that owes so much to their generous sacrifices.


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