Merlyn Kinrade passes — Caledonia, Six Nations, Canada & Israel lose a patriot and friend


  • Mark Vandermaas eulogy for Merlyn Kinrade, Oct 11/12: [PDF, 6p]
  • Gary McHale eulogy for Merlyn Kinrade, Oct 11/12: [PDF, 3p]
  • Jeff Parkinson, Oct 22/12: Remembering Merlyn Kinrade

120218 Merlyn Kinrade on the occupied Douglas Creek Estates, Caledonia. CLICK TO ENLARGE

UPDATED Oct 26/12 — A great Canadian patriot, naval veteran, peacekeeper, father, husband, friend of Israel and a tireless force for justice in Caledonia has been called home.

I am saddened to report that Merlyn Kinrade, Caledonia resident and co-founder of CANACE (Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality), died after a long battle with cancer at 2pm yesterday – Saturday, October 06, 2012. He was born March 16, 1935, and passed in his 77th year.

Funeral details: 

Bay Gardens Funeral Home
947 Rymal Road East, Hamilton  L8W 3M2   (just east of Upper Gage Ave.)


  • Wednesday 2-4 pm, 7-9 pm
  • Thursday 10-11 am


  • Thursday 11 am followed by cremation
ANNOUNCEMENT (appeared Oct 09/12):
Hamilton Spectator–kinrade-merlyn
The Dr. Bob Kemp Hospice Foundation
277 Stone Church Road East, Hamilton, ON L9B 1B1  905.387.2448

About Merlyn Kinrade

Merlyn Kinrade lived more than 60 years of his life in Caledonia. He is a former member of the Royal Canadian Navy who served on one of the most famous ships in Canadian naval history, HMCS Haida. His service included a tour of duty in Port Said, Egypt on a United Nations peacekeeping mission during the 1956 Suez crisis.

He has been a steadfast contributor to the community through sponsorship of various sports teams and significant financial generosity that made construction of the original arena possible for the town. He also coached hockey and baseball teams, and made a special effort to include needy children from the nearby Six Nations Reserve by providing transportation to and from practices and games, purchasing skates and other equipment for them and ensuring they were well fed during their time with the team. 

Merlyn Kinrade: 2006-2012

It is impossible to overstate how much Merlyn meant to those of us who have struggled against racial policing in Caledonia during the last 6 years. He was our rock, our advocate, our liaison and our friend as he doggedly pursued those responsible for the crimes against his community. You can read Merlyn’s bio, a list of his accomplishments and media articles about him here:

Merlyn Kinrade in pictures and video…

CANACE co-founder Jeff Parkinson prepared video & blog tributes to Merlyn that captures his dynamic, meet-life-head-on, personality we were privileged to share during the past 5+ years:

Merlyn’s final months: passionate and determined to the end…

Merlyn’s commitment to his community and his country was unwavering even as he began to count down his final months.

Proud to be a member of the ‘Caledonia 8’…

On Dec 03/11 he proudly lined up to be arrested for ‘trespassing” on a county road as one of the ‘Caledonia 8’ who went to jail to dramatize, yet again, the continuing ignominy of racialized policing in Caledonia:

(All charges against the Caledonia 8 were later dropped.)

Making history after a long struggle…

120218 Merlyn Kinrade & Caledonia 8 become the first non-natives to walk uninvited on Douglas Creek Estates in Caledonia in 6 years.On Feb 18/12, as we walked for the first time, uninvited, on the occupied Douglas Creek Estates photographer David Strutt was there and captured the essence of Merlyn in the portrait above. Christie Blatchford (author of Helpless: Caledonia’s Nightmare of Fear And Anarchy, And How the Law Failed All Of Us) reported his arrest in the National Post:

120218 Occupier assaults Merlyn Kinrade on DCE While there Merlyn was assaulted by an occupier but quietly stood his ground without retaliating with angry words or violence.

Standing with Israel and the Jewish people…

Gary McHale & Merlyn Kinrade stand with Jewish Defence League at Israel Consulate, TorontoOn March 30/12 Merlyn and other CANACE founders travelled to the Israel Consulate in Toronto to stand with our Jewish friends against those who would destroy Israel. Our friends from the Jewish Defence League gave him an Israeli flag and later notified him that they had purchased a tree for him in Israel. He was so touched by these gestures as were we all.

120423 Prime Minister Harper lights candle at National Holocaust Remembrance ceremony, Ottawa, OntarioOn April 23/12 Merlyn and his daughter Olivia travelled with us on an exhausting trip to the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa for the National Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony on a bus provided by the Canadian Society for Yad Vashem. There, Olivia was able to meet Holocaust survivors, diplomats and even the Prime Minister of Canada. Merlyn couldn’t have been prouder. Merlyn purchased Israel-Canada flag lapel pins for everyone on the bus and Olivia handed them out.

Freedom Month…

During the month of September CANACE leader Gary McHale led protests every Sunday for 5 weeks at the Douglas Creek Estates occupation site during what he called ‘Freedom Month.’ Merlyn was too sick to come out but we kept him informed. On the last day, Sept 30/12, we took a group photo of those who came out to stand with us against OPP racial policing with a sign saying, ‘Hi Merlyn’:

120930 Merlyn Kinrade's friends, neighbours and allies say hello from the final protest of 'Freedom Month' at the occupied Douglas Creek Estates in Caledonia, 6 days before his passing.

Merlyn had long been distressed over the fact that so many in his community were afraid to stand with him, so it was nice to be able to show him how, just days before his death, that our numbers were slowing growing thanks to his friends, neighbours and allies – new and old – coming out to continue the work of which he cared so deeply.

It was fitting, therefore, that Merlyn knew, before he left us, that where we were once viciously assaulted and intimidated and sent to hospital we now were able to literally turn our backs on those who terrorized his community, knowing their reign of intimidation and lawlessness was coming to an end. Merlyn helped make that happen in no small way. One day his community will realize the debt they owe to Merlyn and his family for the price they paid to help restore the rule of law so they and their children would be free of racial policing and government-sanctioned violence forever.

Merlyn had many friends on Six Nations. Even though he was highly critical of those responsible for the violence as well as those who refused to condemn it,  he realized that the perpetrators did not represent his native neighbours as a group. It was his great hope that one day those responsible would admit their mistakes and apologize so that real healing would begin in the town he loved so much. To that end Merlyn reached out to various leaders — without success…so far. But he was always hopeful that one day a true leader committed to truth, justice and peace would appear from the Six Nations people to help end Caledonia’s nightmare.  No one tried harder than Merlyn Kinrade to protect natives and non-natives from the anarchy of government-sanctioned mob rule.

090712 Final CANACE Flag raising in Caledonia; Mark Vandermaas & Merlyn Kinrade salute as Christine McHale watches. CLICK TO ENLARGE.Merlyn was a symbol of everything that is good and decent about Canada. As a former member of the Canadian Forces and peacekeeper I am honoured to say he was my friend and my brother in arms.

[…] This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian:’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day.

Shakespeare: King Henry V: IV, iii

Additional References

From Friends

 Mark Vandermaas
Editor, VoiceofCanada
Founder, Caledonia Victims Project (

6 responses to “Merlyn Kinrade passes — Caledonia, Six Nations, Canada & Israel lose a patriot and friend

  1. Hi Mark,

    Thanks to Jeff and you for compiling these tributes to Merlyn Kinrade. You have both done such a good job of describing Merlyn’s contributions that I do not have anything to add, except this:

    Back in June 2007, I posted a comment to your blog, using my real name. Then in August 2007, I did the same on Jeff Parkinson’s site ( Soon afterwards, I started experiencing a phenomenal amount of intimidation and harassment, which echoed what I had gone through at other times in my life when I had publicly stated my opinions about the native situation. This persecution occurred, despite the fact that I have two generations of involvement with the topic, dating back to the late 1950s. Because I feared for my personal safety, I then started to post to your sites using various pseudonyms.

    In April 2011, I found the courage to launch my ( site, where I have about 10 posts that cover my views on aboriginal issues. Finally, in late January 2012, I decided it was time to go at least quasi-public, so now my first name appears in some of the comments on my site. Although I am still experiencing a fair bit of menacing and ostracizing behaviour from some quarters, it is not nearly as bad as it was five years ago.

    Obviously, I am not even remotely as brave as those of you who have risked so much to expose the dangers of OPP racial/political policing. But I have learned from your example that taking risks can sometimes lead to breakthroughs, albeit slowly.

    I think the September 30, 2012 group photo in your post, chich includes the sign “Hi Merlyn” is a great example of a breakthrough. You proved to Merlyn, who was too ill to attend, that your “numbers were slowly growing, thanks to his friends, neighbours and allies—new and old—coming out to continue the work of which he cared so deeply.”

    I think it is wonderful that you were able to “literally” turn your backs on those who assaulted and intimidated you. By doing so, you were looking towards a future that will hopefully include the justice Merlyn envisioned.

    I will not be able to attend the visitation on Wednesday or the funeral on Thursday, but I will be sending out positive thoughts to all of you on both days. My condolences.

  2. I am very saddened to hear the news of Merlyn’s passing. I had the pleasure of meeting him once (in front of the County of Haldimand Building) earlier this year and from my conversation with him it was easy to see what a patroit and a defender of freedom he was. Merlyn will be missed by all who knew him, may he rest in peace.

  3. Pingback: Merlyn Kinrade: saying good-bye to a Canadian Patriot « Xanthippa's Chamberpot

  4. NO words can express how I feel just now…

  5. Bryan Thompson

    They don’t make men like him anymore. A true hero. I’ll miss him terribly.

  6. Warren Hastings

    Merlyn – What a Guy ….