Children’s Rights Monument

Harold Muller
Monument, Outdoor Art, Permanent

This monument is engraved with words from the United Nations’ Conventions on the Rights of the Child; a picture of children at play – one holding a ball and one with flowers – with the words, “be yours to hold it high;” and images of veterans, cadets and peacekeepers. The monument also features the Royal Cipher – the use of which is allowed only with express consent of the British Royal Family; words from Col. John McCrae’s poem, “In Flanders Fields;”  and a listing of children’s rights including survival, protection, development and participation.

The monument was designed by Guelph artist Harold Muller who worked alongside family friend, Rebecca Anne Dixon, a 16 year old student from Ottawa, to create the concept of this piece. Dixon, whose mother is originally from Guelph, chose the city as the site of the monument because it is the birthplace of John McCrae, whose poem, “In Flanders Fields,” had touched and inspired her. She had originally come up with the idea to create the monument when she was only 10 years old after attending a conference where she met children from around the world and began to learn about children’s rights. Dixon fundraised $3,600 to purchase and engrave the stones. All of the rest, including transportation of materials, concrete at the base, and engineering work came from in-kind donations.

The monument is comprised of three large stone slabs, with stones from every Canadian province and territory laid at the base.

The monument is the first monument devoted to children’s rights in Canada. It was unveiled in Riverside Park by Mayor Kate Quarrie in 2006. Yukon Territory Liberal MP Larry Bagnell was also on hand for the unveiling.

About the artist

Harold Muller (1921-2015) was a founding member of the Guelph Creative Arts Association in the 1940s and ran an auto body shop in Guelph with his brothers for many years. In addition to the Children’s Rights Monument he also designed the University of Guelph’s ceremonial mace, an elaborately decorated staff used at convocation ceremonies.

Rebecca Dixon and Harold Muller. Photo credit: Rob O’Flanagan, Guelph Mercury Tribune.


762 Woolwich Street, Guelph, Ontario N1H 3Z1