At a time when Confederate Flags are coming down and statues celebrating Confederate civil war officers are being removed in the U. S., and the statue of Sir John A. MacDonald being removed in Canada, Kincardine is bucking the trend after the municipality received a request to remove a monument.
However the Dr. Solomon Secord monument is going to stay right where it is, in front of the Kincardine Library, in the municipality's core.
At a recent Kincardine Committee of the Whole meeting on September 5th, concerned citizen Jeroen Thompson addressed councillors on having the monument removed.
Secord lived from 1834 to 1910 and during that time was a physician in Kincardine but also served for a time in what is described on the monument as the "Southern Army during the American Civil War."
Thompson, born in the U. S. but now a Canadian Citizen, says Dr. Secord's actions brings into question the doctors commitment to slavery abolition.
He tells Kincardine councillors, "He supported a war to keep black men, women and children in slavery. He supported a racist and reprehensible cause."
Thompson doesn't believe the message on the monument reflects Canada or Kincardine today.
Thompson says the monument is now the only one of its kind in Canada that recognizes a Confederate Army officer.
He says only last year, a plaque commemorating the president of the Confederate States of America, located in Montreal, was removed after a public outcry.
Thompson says Kincardine should, "follow their lead" and requested the Secord monument be removed.
There was no support from councillors as they voted unanimously to accept the recommendation of the Arts, Culture and Heritage Committee that no further action be taken.
Kincardine Mayor Anne Eadie, in supporting the recommendation says, doctors were not combatants but through their Code of Ethics, were there to help the sick and wounded on both sides of the conflict and that service continues today.
The issue will be back before a formal council meeting on September 19th but the decision has been made to keep the sun-dial-type monument recognizing the life of Dr. Solomon Secord, in place near the Kincardine Library.