Monday, November 7, 2011

Emmanuel Hahn's Malvern Statue is Vandalized - Another Episode in the Boys of Malvern Story

Emmanuel Hahn would likely turn over in his grave if possible. The recent news of his Boys of Malvern memorial statue, took a new twist today when a former student, named Jim McKnight  stepped forward and confessed to having vandalized the statue, over 40 years ago.

McKnight was a 17 year old youth at the time.  He is a United Church Minister now.  When McKnight heard the recent stories of the desecration of the memorial he decided to go public with the hope that his story would provide an important lesson for the most recent youths who trivialized the statue with tape.

McKnight told of a Malvern teacher meeting with him after he committed the act,  and explaining its importance. The teacher's brothers name was on the statue - for he had given his life as one of the Boys of Malvern.

Picture: Emmanuel Otto Hahn
Article News Source: CBC, 'The National'. November 10.2011

Hardly a day passed before Malvern Collegiate's statue has been vandalized - again. For what its worth, the event was captured on a CTV surveillance video.

I am unable to separate the event from the feelings of love and respect which surrounded its creation, to immortalize the Boys of Malvern who gave their lives in WW1.

The desecration of memorials, be they created by formidable artists, or not - is at best, a profoundly anti social action.

To see the CTV news article, please click here.  

CTV Toronto - Surveillance video captures Toronto war memorial vandals - CTV News

Edited photo taken by the Toronto School Board


  1. For some reason this reminds me of the Biblical command not to "remove an ancient landmark which your fathers have set" (Proverbs 22:28 et al.). I know the comparison isn't exact (it may not even be remotely close!) but it "feels" similar. Someone put that landmark there to point to something important (honour, courage, sacrifice). Vandalizing it obscures that, preventing others from seeing what it points to.

    Hope to see you soon in Golden, Winston. I've been doing a little bit of painting :-)

  2. Thanks for updating the page. Donations received in the last three weeks will cover all the costs of repair and improved security. So this speed shows that many people felt strongly about the damage.
    I have checked in many places and believe that Hahn's name is Emanuel with one N.
    Here is a photo of the very moment that the statue was unveiled on November 4, 2011.
    Thanks for a lovely page,


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