Workers Memorial Day was first declared in Canada on April 28, 1984 as a national day of mourning for those injured and killed on the job. April 28 was chosen because it was on that date in 1914 that Canada enacted its first comprehensive workers compensation law. The Canadian Parliament first declared April 28 a national day of mourning for those injured and killed in the workplace and called it Workers Mourning Day. Other countries worldwide followed suit, with the United States of America first declaring April 28 Workers Memorial Day in 1989. Every year, more than 3 million people are injured at work. Some never recover fully. Some never go back to work. Some never live to return home.
April 28 is a day of dual remembrance for the attorneys and staff at Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter – The Florida Firm, for on Workers Memorial Day in 2009, our founding partner, Stewart L. Colling, died unexpectedly after collapsing while jogging. It was a tragic reverse symbolism for his death to occur on Workers Memorial Day three years ago. Stewart Colling had dedicated a quarter century of his life as an attorney specializing in workers compensation claims. His entire legal career was spent representing injured workers and their families, protecting and expanding the rights of injured workers, and pursuing justice for them in courtrooms and, against all odds, in the halls of the Florida Senate and House of Representatives. In 2009, Stewart was posthumously awarded the Florida Workers Compensation Lifetime Achievement Award by his peers, including attorneys, workers compensation insurers, and workers compensation industry representatives and providers.
We cannot imagine a more appropriate day than Workers Memorial Day each year to remember our founder, Stewart L. Colling who was a not only a champion of workers rights, but a stalwart husband, father, friend, partner, and founder.