Rose Fortune’s life and accomplishments represent the struggle of Black Loyalists, including the unique challenges facing Black Loyalist women, in colonial Nova Scotia during the 18th century.
Today, Colin Fraser, Member of Parliament for West Nova recognized the national historic significance of Rose Fortune. A special ceremony was held at the wharf in Annapolis Royal to unveil a commemorative plaque in partnership with The Historical Association of Annapolis Royal and the town of Annapolis Royal. The announcement was made on behalf of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna.
Historic designations, like that of Rose Fortune, reflect the rich and varied history of Canada and provide an opportunity for Canadians to connect with our diverse heritage. As a respected and prominent member and businesswoman in the community in Annapolis Royal, Fortune was known for keeping peace and order on the waterfront, where she operated a successful baggage-carting business and acted as the unofficial town “police officer,” for over 20 years. She became a figure of renown both locally and throughout Nova Scotia and she has been remembered with great affection by residents of Annapolis Royal. Since the early 20th century, Fortune’s story has become a source of ongoing pride for African Nova Scotians.
The Government of Canada, through the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, recognizes significant people, places, and events that shaped our country as one way of helping Canadians and youth connect with their past. The commemoration process is largely driven by public nominations. To date, more than 2,150 designations have been made.