Ed Keenleyside has convinced the city to publish his second book: no royalties though.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

December 30th, 2019



Ed Keenleyside has been writing about Burlington’s war time contributions for some time. When the city put up a small notice explaining the background of the cenotaph just to the north of City Hall it was Ed who spotted the error.

Keenleyside with partial monument

Keenleyside at the foot of the Cenotaph next to city hall. His book will commemorate those lost in different wars.

He recently approached the City manager with an offer to give the city non-exclusive rights to his manuscript on the understanding that the city would publish the book.

Keenleyside will negotiate with the city manager once the details are worked out and the legal department has put their thumb print on the proposed agreement.

The title: An Illustrated History of the Burlington Cenotaph, The Story of a Community Memorial is fitting – and if anyone knows that story it is Ed Keenleyside.

The Burlington Cenotaph has been a part of the history of the community for close to 100 years. Eighty-two Burlington veterans of the First and Second Wars have their names inscribed on the Cenotaph. The first 38 names were inscribed in 1922, with the additional 44 occurring in 1947 via a bronze plaque added to the Cenotaph.

Keenleyside, a Burlington resident, a retired member of the Royal Canadian Air Force, a former high school history teacher and former City of Burlington employee has completed a manuscript of the history of Burlington’s Cenotaph.

The book was written to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the unveiling of the Burlington Cenotaph on April 10, 1922.

The City will not pay Mr. Keenleyside for the publishing or distribution rights, it would only incur the cost of actually printing the books. Keenleyside would retain ownership of the book.

Printing and distributing this book, is described as a small gesture that the City of Burlington can do to recognize soldiers from Burlington who gave their lives during war. Copies of the book could be printed as gifts to visiting dignitaries or used for special occasions such as Remembrance Day ceremonies.

Mr. Keenleyside would retain copyright of the manuscript.

Keenleyside first book

Cover of Ed Keenleyside’s first book.

Keenleyside is the author of “We Were Just Doing our Bit.” The City of Burlington does not own the rights to that book nor has any discussion taken place regarding that book.

While this manuscript has merit consideration had to be given to other requests of this type coming in. To date the City Manager’s Office is not aware of other requests of this type, nor has the City’s Legal Department drafted an agreement like this in the past.

If other requests such as this came forward, they should be evaluated on a case-by- case basis. Although no formal criteria is in place, any further considerations should take into account such factors as historical importance to Burlington, connection of the author to the community, financial considerations and opportunities for the City of Burlington to use the manuscripts.

The options considered by city staff were:

Not to move forward with an agreement and therefore not accept print or distribute the book.

Council decided at their December 16th meeting to go forward; the item was approved as a Consent item on the agenda with no debate or discussion.

The cost of printing and, we assume, the size of the print run and whether the cover will be a hard case of softback will be managed by the by Corporate Communications & Government Relations, a unit that is within the City Manager’s Office.

Design considerations are important – it isn’t clear if Keenleyside has final design approval.

There is a down side to this: once the word is out everyone with a “book” will be approaching Kwab xxx; this is his ball to carry.

Readers of the Gazette will have been aware of the in-depth word Mark Gillies did on the city’s war veterans.

Related news stories:

Keenleyside spots errors in plaque

Mark Gillies wrote in depth about Burlington war heroes.

Names and faces of the 38 lost in WWI by Mark Gillies

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