Survivors will lead annual 1906 parade

With the number of San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake survivors dwindling, only three of the four known remaining survivors will be honored in this year’s parade commemorating the 106th anniversary of the disaster.

Bill Del Monte and Winnie Hook, both 106 years old, and George Quilici, 108, will be on hand to remember the great disaster of 1906. San Francisco Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White and Police Chief Greg Suhr will drive the survivors from Union Square to John’s Grill on Ellis Street for the annual survivors’ dinner, according to event spokesman Lee Houskeeper.

The fourth remaining survivor, 109-year-old Ruth Newman, lives in Monterey and will not be able to take part in the parade, Houskeeper said.

The parade, which begins at 3:30 p.m. will be led by Washington High School’s marching band along with the SFPD Mounted Patrol, three antique fire engines, and four vintage Rolls Royce and Bentley cars.

The infamous 7.5 magnitude quake and subsequent fires leveled 490 city blocks, left 250,000 homeless and several thousand dead.

At 5:11 a.m. Wednesday, a wreath laying and commemoration ceremony will be held at Lotta’s Fountain on Market Street at Kearny, Third and Geary streets. The fountain originally served as a meeting point for survivors of the earthquake to find family members. This year the memorial will be dedicated to Rose Cliver, a 1906 earthquake survivor who passed away in February at the age of 109.

Following the ceremony, at 5:40a.m. officials will paint the famous fire hydrant that saved the city at 20th and Church streets at Dolores Park.