ROSE FORTUNE (c.1774-1864) was a Black Loyalist who came to Annapolis Royal at the age of 10 with her parents after the War of American Independence. Rose later ran a business transporting goods with a wheelbarrow along the waterfront and kept the peace. She is recognized by many as Canada's first policewoman. One her descendants, Daurene Lewis, became Mayor of Annapolis Royal in 1984 and was Canada’s first Black female mayor.
Rose Fortune was recognized in 2018 by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada as a National Historic Person, and a limited-edition Rose Fortune Canadian postage stamp was commissioned in her honour by The Historical Association of Annapolis Royal who had nominated her. She was also the subject of the play "Fortune" by New York playwright George Cameron Grant, and Bay Ferries’ MV Fundy Rose is named after her. The boat crosses the world-famous Bay of Fundy daily from Saint John, NB to Digby, NS in about two hours and fifteen minutes. Once in Digby, Annapolis Royal is a short 30 minutes away.
To learn more about Rose Fortune’s inspirational journey be sure to watch the Rose Fortune Video and take one of Alan Melanson’s Candlelight Graveyard Tours at Fort Anne National Historic Site in Annapolis Royal. Sponsored by The Historical Association of Annapolis Royal, this has been one of the country's most popular tours since 1992 and has been honoured by two of Canada's Prime Ministers. It inspired the play and her Person of National Historic Significance nomination.
Her gravestone in the Garrison Graveyard, made by local sculptor Brad Hall, is in the shape of a stylized wheelbarrow bench. Her HSMBC monument is located next to King’s Theatre in the Rose Fortune Plaza.