THE CAMPBELL MEMORIAL WINDOW

The stained glass window at the front of the church, in what is called the narthex or vestibule, has a fascinating history, albeit one that has been clouded with misinformation over the years. 

It is known that the money for the window came from Colin Campbell, who lived in Burlington in the late 1800s, although it appears that the money was not originally intended for that purpose, but for something completely different.

In fact, the session record of the day was very explicit:
Jan. 27, 1909
Gift received of $500 in the form of a six per cent debenture from Colin H. Campbell, attorney-general of Manitoba, interest to be used in a perpetual memorial of Mr. Campbell’s mother, for relief of the poor.

There are no records available as to how the money went to a different cause, but it is understood that the gift of the window resulted in the building of the narthex which was dedicated in 1910.

The money was donated in memory of Colin Campbell’s mother, a member of the Knox congregation in the late 1800s, and in fact her name shows up in early church records.

Stories over the years have indicated that Colin Campbell was the lieutenant governor of Manitoba at the time of the donation, but in fact he was attorney general and for a time held the dual role of minister of public works for the Manitoba government around the turn of the 20th century.

The Campbell window, which is entitled The Resurrection, is a magnificent work of art, with its fine details vividly illuminated as the sunlight radiates through the glass. Even at night, with the lights on within the narthex, it gives those walking or driving by the church a sense of awe as they view this amazing work of art.

Colin Campbell died at a relatively early age, but his wife, the daughter of one of the pioneer doctors from Palermo, lived on for several decades and after she died, two truck loads of documents relating to the Campbell and Buck families were donated to the Halton Region Museum.

The former Pearl Buck was a strong advocate for children’s rights, and her action was instrumental in leading to legislation toward the protection of children, thus making the donation such a treasure trove of historical documentation.

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