James Ratcliffe Mourned at Civic Funeral
The whole town turned out for the funeral of James Ratcliffe who died in an accident during a rescue boat training exercise on the Lake of Two Mountains. James was a member of the Hudson volunteer firefighters and he fell out of the boat and hit his head while he and a crew were practising rescue manoeuvres. He was immediately taken to hospital but could not be revived.
St. Thomas Church was filled with family, local dignitaries and delegates from other fire departments on Saturday with residents filling the street in front of the church and lining the roads where the funeral procession would pass. After the service, eulogies and a single bugler playing the Last Post, James was carried on the back of Hudson's new fire engine followed by the tanker engine. The procession marched along Main Road, under a huge Canadian flag held aloft by the aerial ladders of the Ile Perrot and Rigaud Fire Departments. At Selkirk, family and friends proceeded down to the Hudson Yacht Club where a reception in James' honor had been prepared.
After working at the Yacht Club for several years, James had been hired to run the bar this summer. Working locally, he would have been able to keep up his volunteer firefighting work which he loved. Instead, people who knew him gathered at the Yacht Club to remember him while looking out over the lake which finally took his life.