This photo hangs in the Burlington Public Library, Central Branch, 2nd Floor

John Waldie purchased his large family plot in December of 1889. It is centered with the most prominent marker in Greenwood, topped with a Celtic cross, and is wrapped with a “fence” of granite posts, joined with heavy metal pipes, large corner stones and gate spaces front and back. In addition to the main monument are 12 other markers, all in a similar tablet style.

John Waldie, his two wives and youngest son Charles Percival Waldie, 2nd Lieutenant, who was killed in action in France in 1915, are remembered on the main memorial stone. John and his first wife Mary Ann Thompson has 13 children, 6 girls and 7 boys. Nine of these children are interred in this family plot, along with a few spouses and children. The last burials took place in 1998.

The Waldie family left Scotland for Canada in 1842, when John was just nine years of age. They took up residence in Wellington Square which was later to become Burlington. As a teenager John obtained work as a clerk in a busy general mercantile store on Water Street (now Lakeshore Road). He purchased this business in 1855 at the age of 22. John served as Reeve of Nelson Township and in 1873 he proposed the amalgamation of Wellington Square and Port Nelson which became incorporated as the Village of Burlington. John Waldie served as its first Reeve.

Twelve imported stained glass windows in Knox Presbyterian Church were a gift from John Waldie. Years later he also funded a library for Burlington. In 1885, following the death of his wife MaryAnn, John sold his business here and moved to Toronto where he founded and became president of the Victoria Harbour Lumber Company. John Waldie died in Toronto in 1907. His funeral took place at Knox Church in Burlington. John Edward Waldie, the 2nd son drowned in the French River at the age of 26. Another son, Walter Scott Waldie, Lieut. 1st Central Ontario Reg’t, CEF, died of pneumonia in North Wales in 1919, on the eve of his embarkation for Canada. He was 40 years of age.

©Peggy Armstrong
January 2016