Twenty years after the dedication of the William Hall VC Cairn, the Memorial received another plaque – Sunday July 9th, 1967. The final day of the Canadian Centennial Programme in Hantsport was designated William Hall V.C. Memorial Day. The new plaque was fastened to the front of the top base, the inscription reads:
THIS CAIRN MARKS THE LAST RESTING PLACE OF WILLIAM HALL, V.C.
Led by the Guard of Honour and band from CFB Cornwallis, members of the Royal Canadian Legion, Lucknow Branch 109 Hantsport and the William Hall V.C. Branch 57 Halifax marched from William Street to the Hantsport Baptist Church. At the reviewing stand at the Legion Hall, the Salute was taken by Lieutenant Governor H.P. MacKeen and His Worship the Mayor L.G. Bishop.
The church service was conducted by the Rev. Gordon Gower, assisted by the Rev. Dr. W.P. Oliver of Halifax. The address was given by the Rev. George R. Bell, Protestant Chaplain of CFB Cornwallis. This service was a joint effort by Lucknow 109 and William Hall V.C. 57.
The Memorial has been maintained by the Town of Hantsport and is in excellent condition. The last major refit was in the summer of 1994 as a Hantsport Centennial Project. The refit was carried out by stone mason Gary Clayton. More information about William Hall VC and the 1947 dedication ceremony can be found by following this link.
Repatriation of William Hall’s original Victoria Cross medal
The 1967 event also marked the repatriation of William Hall’s original Victoria Cross medal from Great Britain. His medals had gone missing after his death in 1904, but were located in a Royal Navy mess. The medals, including the Victoria Cross were displayed in the Maritime Provinces Pavilion at Expo 67 in Montréal and are now held by the Nova Scotia Museum – Maritime Museum of the Atlantic, in Halifax.
Chronicle Herald – Saturday 8 July 1967
Sunday, the last day of Hantsport’s centennial program, has been designated “William Hall, VC, Memorial Day.” The ceremony and three receptions will be sponsored by the town of Hantsport, the Lucknow branch of the Royal Canadian Legion, Hantsport, and the William Hall legion branch, Halifax: the event is a special centennial project of the legion and the province’s Negroes. Officials emphasize the ceremonies are to ‘‘commemorate the memory of a man — a man representative of the people of African descent living in Nova Scotia.”
Lieutenant-Governor H.P. MacKeen and L.G. Bishop, the mayor of Hantsport, will take the salute as a guard of honor and band from CFB Cornwallis and legion representatives parade to the 2 p.m. service in Hantsport Baptist Church. The service will be conducted by Rev. Gordon Gower, the church’s minister, assisted by Lieut. George Bell, Protestant padre at Cornwallis. The 40-member North Preston centennial choir will participate.
Then, Miss Edith Gray of Halifax, Mrs. E. Gibson, Centreville, Kings County; and James Gray, Cambridge, Kings County, will unveil the new plaque. The lieutenant-governor will present to them and to the church, framed photographs of Hall’s Victoria Cross. Wreaths will be laid by His Honor and the mayor, the family, and local and provincial legion representatives.
The town is sponsoring two receptions, one in the church hall and the other in the Hantsport Memorial Community Centre; a third will be held by the ladies’ auxiliary of the Lucknow branch.
Photos – HHS Collection; Bernard Gregg and Erma Wamback