Friday, May 5, 2017

A Resting Place For The Dead

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, I was in Vanier on the Easter weekend's Good Friday to visit two large cemeteries. This is the first of them, which we'll be taking a look at over the next two posts. Notre Dame Cemetery is the most prominent Catholic cemetery in the city, dating back to 1872. Its twenty hectares of graves include military graves, the final resting place of a prime minister, a nun's order, athletes, prominent Canadians, and the grave of famed portrait photographer Yousuf Karsh. I looked, but didn't find him, though I suspect from looking at a photograph of his tombstone online afterwards that I was quite close. I've visited the grave of his equally famous brother, the landscape photographer Malak Karsh, over in Quebec, near a small village along the Gatineau River, several times. 


This plaque on a family crypt near the front entrance caught my eye. It's in French, which is the dominant language in this cemetery, but is in memory of Lt. Commander Paul Major, who died in action aboard the destroyer H.M.C.S. Ste. Croix in the North Atlantic. The crypt is impressive.


There are a number of military graves here, most of them contained in two areas of the cemetery. This one is near the front entrance. These would be those who died during recuperation at home or years after their service; the common trend of the First and Second World Wars would be to bury soldiers near where they fell. The design of the stones is typical, however, of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, which has overseen military graves for the Commonwealth countries around the world since the First World War.


I mentioned a prime minister being buried here. Sir Wilfred Laurier and his wife Zoe are buried beneath this impressive tombstone near the main entrance. Other tombstones caught my eye for the way they looked.

31 comments:

  1. There are some impressive tombs there.

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  2. ...very nice William, I like your Canadian military stones.

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  3. So many recent deaths... had to look at this one fast. Do like the idea of stones to remember those who served.

    Janis
    GDP

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  4. @Linda: indeed.

    @Francisco: thank you.

    @Marianne: there are indeed.

    @Tom: I do too.

    @Janis: me too.

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  5. Very impressive stones and so very interesting, too. I think these days there's less interest in such monuments - at least in this area as more people opt for cremation.

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  6. When I was working in Chicago, a friend took me to a similar cemetery in that city where the tombs and monuments were just as elaborate as these. It was interesting to pick out the ones of the more famous guests!

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  7. Its a typical time for rembrance these days.

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  8. Nice memorial stones. Nice and quiet.

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  9. @Lowell: over in the other cemetery, there's a cremation garden that I'll be featuring.

    @Cloudia: I thought so!

    @Sharon: I'd have liked it had this cemetery's office been open- there'd have been some sort of guide available for that. But it was Good Friday, and I didn't luck out in that respect.

    @SC: it is, yes. I think over the Easter weekend, it's perhaps a common thing to come to cemeteries.

    @Nancy: it was quiet.

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  10. Lovely memorials, and beautiful and serene cemetery.

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  11. The tombstone of Sir Wilfred Laurier and his wife is very impressive indeed.

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  12. I do love to wander older cemeteries but this one is impressive.
    MB

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  13. It's always so interesting to see the different styles and sizes of tombstones William. The tombstone for the ex prime minister is a work of art in its own right!

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  14. There are some very interesting tombs there.

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  15. i know a lot of folks who would say that grave yards are very creepy ... for me i find them so interesting. such history. so cool and unique tombstones to see. awesome!! ( ;

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  16. @Linda: this was quite a pleasant surprise to come visit.

    @Tamago: I have another Prime Minister's grave coming up, but it's quite different!

    @MB: I've passed by it on the road before, but never went in before.

    @Grace: it is- quite imposing, I think.

    @Marleen: there's a lot, and room for more, it seems.

    @Bill: indeed.

    @Beth: I do too.

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  17. There's a lot to learn by visiting cemeteries and then a lot to think about.

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  18. Cemeteries like this are so fascinating to me!

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  19. Cemeteries are a wonderful place to wander through. The crypt was indeed impressive.

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  20. My wife and I used to love to visit cemeteries. But a couple of friends of ours who were with us once thought we were nuts.

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  21. Some of these tombstones are huge and impressive. And the gravestones appear to be very well kept. Around here even World War II tombstones seem to have a robust coating of moss.

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  22. Nice to be remembered,
    even better to have been well loved on earth.

    Janis
    GDP

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  23. Cemeteries are always a good source for photobloggers.

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  24. Thanks for all your cemetery posts. There is so much to be learned and felt in a good cemetery.

    Hoping that stress will stay away now, William.

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  25. I love crypts and monuments at old cemeteries. These are great shots of beautiful place. Thank you for sharing.

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  26. Some lovely memorials, and it looks a beautiful and peaceful cemetery.

    All the best Jan

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