Tecumseh tribute pays respect to victims in Nova Scotia rampage
TECUMSEH, ONT. -- A Tecumseh man with roots in Nova Scotia is paying his respects to the victims of Canada’s worst mass killing in history.
It was on Sunday afternoon that David Dauphinee began to trot out his old RCMP gear to his front yard at 169 Hayes Ave. in Tecumseh to create a small memorial.
“It’s heartbreaking,” says Dauphinee, a retired RCMP officer who served in his native Nova Scotia as well as 26 years in the Windsor detachment.
Dauphinee’s Mountie uniform hangs by his front doorway, while his brown leather boots and tan hat sit on a table surrounded by white candles and a Royal Canadian Mounted Police placard in his front lawn. There is also a heart-shaped side table flipped over with black tape running across the face to make a broken heart.
While the retired Mountie has made Tecumseh his home, Nova Scotia will always have his heart. Dauphinee says through friends and family, he knew some of the victims.
“The one teacher from Debert taught with my niece, two corrections officers that had connections and a retired firefighter from Halifax airport that was stationed there when I was in the RCMP,” says Dauphinee.
The display has already brought passersby to his door to share their gratitude and grief.
Dauphinee felt compelled to pay his respects to his RCMP brothers and sisters, including Const. Heidi Stevenson who died in the line of duty. In his own small gesture, Dauphinee hopes the sign of support can help in the healing process for his home province and those impacted by the tragedy.
“Just stay strong. Hang tight. The RCMP is a big family. They have lots of support now and will down the road. It might get easier, but it takes a lot of time,” says Dauphinee.
Police say the killer moved through the area near Dauphinee’s hometown of Truro before ending in Enfield – nearly 100 km from where the killing began in Portapique.
“[Portapique] is a quiet hamlet in Nova Scotia, out in the country. You don’t expect this. You don’t expect this anywhere in Canada,” says Dauphinee.
The tribute also includes a small board with the phrase ‘No matter where I roam Nova Scotia will always be my home’ in addition to stuffed animals dressed as RCMP officers. Another of Dauphinee’s uniforms hangs from a second porch light and Canadian flags have also been planted in the home’s front garden.
“If anybody’s driving by, honk your horn in support.”