Riverview Memorial Park – Saint John

Riverview Memorial Park is a spacious park with gravelled pathways and a monument honouring veterans of the Boer War. It is located on Douglas Avenue in Saint John within the Douglas Avenue Preservation Area. 

Riverview Memorial Park is recognized for its association with Margaret Baizley and the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (WCTU). Baizley was a strong WCTU leader and worker and she headed the campaign that collected funds for the construction of a monument to New Brunswick volunteers for the South African War. This park serves as a reminder of the hard work and determination of Mrs. Baizley and the WCTU, without which the park may not have been developed. This park, built in 1902, has served the residents of Saint John for over a century as a point of leisure and as a memorial to the brave soldiers of the Boer War. 

Riverview Memorial Park, Saint John NB

Riverview Memorial Park is also recognized for its role as a memorial to the courage of those who served for King and Country in the South African Boer War. Part of Canada’s first contingent, the 2nd Battalion, Royal Canadian Regiment of Infantry, had been recruited in the Province of New Brunswick. G Company, which included many former members of the famed 62nd Saint John Fusiliers, had distinguished itself at the celebrated battle of Paardeberg in February, 1900, which resulted in the surrender of Pieter Cronje’s forces. Four Saint John men were killed in the Boer War at Paardeberg, three on the day of Cronje’s surrender, February 27th 1900. For many years, local Boer War veterans gathered at this park on Paardeberg Day and performed a re-enactment of the battle where they would charge entrenched African forces. On February 27th, 1999, after two decades had passed without memorial to these men, Colonel Reginald Fendick revived the ceremony. 

Riverview Memorial Park, Saint John NB

Riverview Memorial Park is also recognized for its contextual surroundings and for its physical monuments. The focal point of the park is a statue of a private soldier in an admirable pose, holding a firearm, and represents the dress and equipment of the different contingents with the exception of the first, which was an infantry regiment. An excellent view of Marble Cove and the Saint John River can be observed from this park. 

Resource: HistoricPlaces.ca 

 

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