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Remembering Nova Scotia’s miners on the 99th Anniversary of Davis Day

Davis Day Ceremony

Photo: Davis Day Ceremony Stellarton (New Glasgow News)

Today, June 11 marks the 99th anniversary of Davis Day, an annual remembrance of miners who lost their lives on the job in Nova Scotia. Davis Day is a powerful reminder of sacrifices and hardships endured by our province’s coal miners.

Originating in memory of William Davis, a coal miner who tragically lost his life during a protest by striking miners, the day formally known as William Davis Miners’ Day and also known as Miners Memorial Day, serves as a time to reflect on sacrifices and hardships underlying the province’s coal mining history.

Amid the 1925 miner's protest, William Davis joined hundreds of coal miners from New Waterford in a march to the New Waterford power plant. Residents marched on the pumping station at Waterford Lake, demanding that the utilities to the families’ coal company homes be restored. In a confrontation with armed company police, Davis was shot and killed. 

Today, we are reminded that workplace safety and advocacy remain a priority in ensuring the well-being of workers. Davis Day emphasizes the continuous efforts to improve conditions in the mining industry in Nova Scotia and protect the rights of those who work underground. 

To pay tribute to William Davis and all those who have died in Nova Scotia's mines, the United Mine Workers Union continues to organize commemorative ceremonies across the province on Davis Day.

Davis Day serves as a solemn reminder of the lives lost and symbolizes the progress made in the province's mining industry, worker rights and the importance of workplace safety.

Learn more about Davis Day:

Miners Memorial Day (Davis Day) - Nova Scotia Museum of Industry
Davis Day Through the Years: A Cape Breton Coalmining Tradition – Nova Scotia Archives

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