Old Cemeteries Society member Sherry Deptuch helps clean Const. Daniel Mainguy’s gravestone at All Saints’ Cemetery for Police National Memorial Day. (Submitted photo)

Old Cemeteries Society member Sherry Deptuch helps clean Const. Daniel Mainguy’s gravestone at All Saints’ Cemetery for Police National Memorial Day. (Submitted photo)

Old Cemeteries Society members honour Police National Memorial Day in Cowichan

Mainguy’s 114-year-old white marble tablet had become blackened and encrusted with dirt

Local members of the Old Cemeteries Society observed Police National Memorial Day on Sunday, Sept. 27, by cleaning the gravestone of Daniel Wishart Mainguy (1842-1906) in historic All Saints’ Cemetery in Westholme.

Mainguy, who was one of the first English settlers in the Chemainus district, arrived in 1863 and was a farmer and the area’s first police constable during the colonial period. He was a memorable local character and an important and well-respected figure in the community of the time.

Said OCS member Mike Bieling, “While documenting Cowichan’s Veterans’ Remembrance Cross placements, I’ve collected burial information for a number of NWMP, RCMP and other police veterans, who are included in that commemoration. For several years, I’ve thought about doing something to observe the day specifically set aside to remember them — Police National Memorial Day — on the last Sunday of September. COVID-19 and other issues made this a bad year for getting any new traditions off the ground, so since the day was dry and pleasant, we decided to spend a few hours at All Saints’ and, with the family’s permission, pay our respects by cleaning Const. Daniel Mainguy’s gravestone, which badly needed it.”

“Mainguy’s 114-year-old white marble tablet had become blackened and encrusted with dirt, black mildew and green algae, with moss growing at its base and on the concrete surface of the family plot. We applied an architectural cleaner that acts as both an immediate remover of dirt and mildew, and, in combination with sunlight and weather, a long-term whitener. It’s recommended by professionals for being highly effective without damaging stone surfaces the way soaps and harsh chemicals can. We’ll watch it over the next few months to see how much more of the green algae staining it removes, and just how white the stone becomes.”

“While we were at it, we also did a quick bit of moss removal and clean-up of the rest of the Mainguy family plot, which includes the monument to Daniel’s well-known son, Vice Admiral E. Rollo Mainguy, ahead of the Remembrance Day cross placements. I hope that in future years, circumstances may allow us to introduce a small local commemoration for Police National Memorial Day, but as members of the Old Cemeteries Society, we’re pleased to have had this opportunity this year to help preserve the memory of one of the Cowichan Valley’s first representatives of the law.”

Communityhistory

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Moira Mercer spent her summer riding her e-bike around Cowichan Lake and beyond, collecting any empties she found along the way. (Submitted)
Lake Cowichan 2020 in review — conclusion

What were your top stories from 2020?

Staff meetings can be difficult when everyone has his own agenda. (Mary Lowther photo)
Mary Lowther column: Garden additions at request of staff

I’ll sow the catnip in flats on the seed table inside

Sarah Simpson
Sarah Simpson column: Snowballs fights and dead spiders

Even if it doesn’t end up how we hope, it’s the trying that matters most.

Cowichan Tribes members line up at a drive-up clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
BCAFN condems racism against Cowichan Tribes after COVID-19 outbreak

“Any one of us could do everything right and still catch the virus”: Regional Chief Terry Teegee.

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Standardized foundation skills assessment tests in B.C. schools will be going ahead later than usual, from Feb. 16 to March 12 for students in Grades 4 and 7. (Black Press Media file photo)
B.C. teachers say COVID-affected school year perfect time to end standardized tests

Foundational skills testing of Grade 4 and 7 students planned for February ad March

Sooke’s Jim Bottomley is among a handful of futurists based in Canada. “I want to help people understand the future of humanity.” (Aaron Guillen - Sooke News Mirror)
No crystal ball: B.C. man reveals how he makes his living predicting the future

63-year-old has worked analytical magic for politicians, car brands, and cosmetic companies

Terry David Mulligan. (Submitted photo)
Podcast: Interview with longtime actor/broadcaster and B.C. resident Terry David Mulligan

Podcast: Talk includes TDM’s RCMP career, radio, TV, wine, Janis Joplin and much more

A still from surveillance footage showing a confrontation in the entranceway at Dolly’s Gym on Nicol Street on Friday morning. (Image submitted)
Troublemaker in Nanaimo fails at fraud attempt, slams door on business owner’s foot

VIDEO: Suspect causes pain and damage in incident downtown Friday morning

Most Read