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One Day in May

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Local History

  • Images from the Flood

Linda, Queen's Square | May 12, 2014

May 17, 1974 was a coming of age day for the new city of Cambridge. When the flood level rose, the people of this city also rose together to help each other out in this sudden emergency.

Journalist Mike Hanley from the Hamilton Spectator shot the iconic photograph of the event showing Constable Jack (John) Shuttleworth waist deep in water guarding Patterson’s drugstore at the corner of Ainslie and Dickson. Jack Shuttleworth looks remarkably composed, and his crossed arms give him a look of determination and strength that was mirrored by the actions of the young and stylish new mayor, Claudette Millar. Though flooding was certainly nothing new for Galt, the sudden outpouring of calamity on a beautiful day made for a day to remember, and the flood control precautions have been on municipal minds ever since.

Check out the GRCA’s film about the flood entitled One day in May, or read some of these notable books about local history: Reminiscences of the early history Galt and the settlement of Dumfries in the province of Ontario by the Hon. James Young or Cambridge: the making of a Canadian city by Ken McLaughlin and Jim Quantrell. You can also check out the cover story on the flood in in March 2014 issue of Grand Actions.