Mon­u­ment hon­our­ing Car­bon­ear man shot dead in 1883 moved next to head­stone

Orange­man Wil­liam Janes first per­son killed in Har­bour Grace Af­fray

The Compass - - Front Page - ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­

CAR­BON­EAR, NL — When Car­bon­ear’s Loyal Or­ange Lodge closed its doors for good a few years ago, ques­tions loomed about the fu­ture of an his­toric mon­u­ment.

Now, the mon­u­ment ded­i­cated to Wil­liam Janes’ tragic death al­most 134 years ago stands tall be­side his fi­nal rest­ing place in an Angli­can ceme­tery.

The story of a mon­u­ment ded­i­cated to Janes goes all the way back to St. Stephen’s Day (also known as Box­ing Day) in 1883. On this day, hun­dreds of lo­cal Orange­men were walk­ing through the streets of Har­bour Grace for their an­nual pa­rade.

Back in those days, there were sig­nif­i­cant di­vid­ing lines around re­li­gious faith. There was a vi­o­lent clash with Ro­man Catholics that day, and Janes was re­ported to be the first per­son shot and killed, one of five who died dur­ing the con­fronta­tion be­tween both sides. The event be­came known as the Har­bour Grace Af­fray.

Ac­cord­ing to Bert Par­sons, a mem­ber of the Car­bon­ear Her­itage So­ci­ety, Orange­men had started build­ing a new lodge in Car­bon­ear around this time — the or­ga­ni­za­tion was first es­tab­lished lo­cally in 1869.

“Af­ter this event took place in Har­bour Grace, one year later on Nov. 27, 1884, the com­mit­tee pro­posed to put a mon­u­ment in mem­ory of Wil­liam Janes.”

The mon­u­ment was placed on the main path lead­ing to the lodge’s front door.

“And it’s been there ever since, up un­til the time the lodge closed,” said Par­sons.

The Town of Car­bon­ear agreed to take the stone. It was stored at the mu­nic­i­pal de­pot while dis­cus­sions took place to see where the mon­u­ment’s next des­ti­na­tion would be.

“Of course, a cou­ple of us in town were won­der­ing what was go­ing to hap­pen to this stone here, be­cause it’s a very his­toric stone,” said Par­sons. “It’s been here since 1884, and it’s prob­a­bly one of the most his­toric events that took place in our his­tory — the Har­bour Grace Af­fray.”

It was even­tu­ally agreed the ceme­tery next to St. James Angli­can Church would be an ap­pro­pri­ate lo­ca­tion, given Janes’ burial plot and head­stone was lo­cated there.

“We dis­cussed the is­sue about where to put the stone, and the vestry had a meet­ing about it, and we sized up the sit­u­a­tion,” said Dun­can How­ell, peo­ple’s war­den for St. James Angli­can Church. “We came to the con­sen­sus that there was no more ap­pro­pri­ate place to put it then be­side the grave of Mr. Janes. And the coun­cil was quite help­ful in this ef­fort.”

A con­crete block was poured for the mon­u­ment to stand on. Of con­sid­er­able height and weight, it was lifted over a wall at the south end of the ceme­tery with heavy ma­chin­ery and then placed next to Janes’ head­stone. The Town of Car­bon­ear cov­ered the cost of restor­ing and re­lo­cat­ing the mon­u­ment.

“They re­al­ized as well as we did that hav­ing that in stor­age in a coun­cil fa­cil­ity was in­ap­pro­pri­ate for a his­toric item like that,” said How­ell.

Har­bour Rock Hill was at one point con­sid­ered as an al­ter­na­tive lo­ca­tion, with Par­sons point­ing out it was once the site of an old Loyal Or­ange Lodge.

The church cleaned up the area where the mon­u­ment now stands thanks to a pair of sum­mer stu­dents.

“It’s much more open and ac­ces­si­ble than it was,” How­ell said in re­gards to the south­ern por­tion of the ceme­tery.


Dun­can How­ell, peo­ple’s war­den for St. James Angli­can Church, left, and Bert Par­sons of the Car­bon­ear Her­itage So­ci­ety stand be­side a mon­u­ment ded­i­cated to one of the most tragic events in Car­bon­ear and Har­bour Grace’s shared his­tory.


The Loyal Or­ange Lodge No. 13 when it was still in use by the lo­cal group in 2009. It has since dis­banded. The mon­u­ment for Wil­liam Janes can be seen on the right.


The grave­stone for Wil­liam Janes of Car­bon­ear now has the mon­u­ment built in 1884 stand­ing be­side his fi­nal rest­ing place for the first time.

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