"IN THE PRESENCE OF A SOUL"
An international gathering of 500 dignitaries, descendants and well wishers attended the ceremony unveiling the Gudrun Girgis statue, "In the Presence of a Soul", honoring the history and people of the Icelandic settlement at Kinmount.
Kinmount Memorial Dedication Ceremony
Excerpts Reprinted from the Fálkinn, September 2000 Edition
"Monday, July 31, 2000 was the long-awaited date for the unveiling of the statue dedicated to the first large group of Icelanders to arrive in Canada in 1874.
These 352 people settled briefly in Kinmount, Ontario before moving founding New Iceland at Gimli. The Kinmount connection and this forgotten piece of Candian-Icelandic history has now been recaptured. An INL initiative, carried out by the Icelandic Canadian Club of Toronto, the statue represents the spirit of the settlers, carved in limestone by Gudrun Sigursteinsdottir Girgis. It rests on a base designed by Bill Hurst, ICCT architect, and embedded with Ontario Heritage Foundation plaques in English, French and Icelandic.
The ceremony was attended by a crowd of 500, among them dignitaries from Iceland including the Foreign Minister, Halldór Asgrimsson and his wife Sigurjona Sigurdardottir and Ambassador Hjalmar Hannesson, as well as Consul General Svavar Gestsson and his wife Guðrun Agustdóttir from Winnipeg.
The Foreign Minister of Iceland was among the many speakers; others included Chris Hodgson, MPP for the area, Connie Magnusson representing the descendants of the settlers and Sigrid Johnson, President of the INL. Ellen Sigurdson Gilmore, President of the ICCT read a message from the Honourable Herb Gray, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Millennium Initiative. Guy Scott, local historian, Diane Austin Reeve of the Township of Somerville, Ken Higgs of the
Ontario Heritage Foundation, and Icelandic sculptor Gudrun Girgis also spoke to
the gathering. "
Read more about Kinmount History and Significance
Work in progress- Indiana Limestone