Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Pictou Celebrates 100th Anniversary of All-Black Military Unit Formation

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Pictou Celebrates 100th Anniversary of All-Black Military Unit Formation

Article excerpt

Pictou celebrates No. 2 Construction Battalion

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PICTOU, N.S. - The premier of Nova Scotia and high-ranking military officials gathered in Pictou to mark the 100th anniversary of the first and only segregated black military unit in the Canadian history.

The No. 2 Construction Battalion, also known as the "Black Battalion," was created in the town a century ago to accommodate black men who wanted to join the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the First World War.

Members of the Canadian Armed Forces took part in a parade on Saturday, followed by a ceremony at the deCoste Centre.

"The men of the Number 2 Construction Battalion fought for our country with the loyalty and zeal of any other Canadian regiment in the Great War," Rear Admiral John Newton said in a statement.

"But, they assaulted an even greater enemy in an epic national campaign -- the battle to respect basic human dignity, rights and freedoms no matter the colour of one's skin, religion, or gender. …

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