For further discussion

Remembering a Memory was produced to raise as many questions as it answers. With that in mind, here are several sets of questions for individuals or groups to consider--and there are no right or wrong answers. This is not a quiz.


The Celtic Cross was constructed over 60 years after the events it was designed to remember. Why did it take so long for this memorial to be constructed, and why was it in the form of a Celtic Cross? How did the political situation at the time (in both Canada and Ireland) influence the construction of the Cross?


Three different stories are told by the inscriptions on the base of the Celtic Cross? What are those stories and why were they (as opposed to others) being told? How could a story from the past (in this case the death of 5000 people on Grosse-Île in 1847) be told in more than one way? Are all of these stories equally "true"? If not, does this mean that some were "false"?


When Parks Canada took over Grosse-Île in the 1980s, it had a plan for the development of the island. What were the major characeristics of that plan, and why did it anger many Irish-Canadians? Did the Irish-Canadians have a reason to be upset, and was the Canadian government right to change its plans in response to this unhappiness?


During the celebrations marking the centenary of the Cross in 2009, barely a word of French was heard. What had happened to the French-Canadian connection that had been so evident in 1909? More generally, what differences did you notice between the events in 1909 and those a hundred years later?


If you had a chance to build a memorial of some kind on Grosse-Île to mark the events that took place there in 1847, what would it look like? What story would you tell, and would it differ from the stories already being told on the island?