Saturday, January 10, 2015

Sir John A. Macdonald's 200th Birthday

“Canada's First Prime Minister Had Solid Hamilton Support,”
historian says.

There will be raising a glass or three in honour of Canada's first prime minister. 
The Sir John A. Macdonald  Society will celebrate
the Canadian founder's father's 200th birthday
with events slated for January 10 and 11.

“This is the founding father of our country,”
said local historian Robin McKee
who is also president of the local Sir John A. Macdonald Society.
“If the guy was not born...we would not be Canada.”

McKee said the society, the first of its kind in the country, began 50 years ago and he's hoping for a good turnout at the January 10th dinner at the Scottish Rite and and the annual wreath-laying ceremony at Macdonald statue in Gore Park on January 11th.  McKee said Macdonald represents an important part of our nation's heritage, having written most of the British North America Act, Canada's Constitution.

He noted that Hamilton was a big supporter of Macdonald in the mid-19th century...and whenever Macdonald was in the area, he would visit the west Mountain Auchmar estate of Isaac Buchanan, his friend and colleague. (Buchanan Elementary School on the mountain was named in his honour.)  McKee further noted, “We were Macdonald's backing in Ontario for years.”

The Canadian Encyclopedia states Macdonald was born on January 10 or 11, 1815 in Glasgow, Scotland.  He came to Canada at age 5 with his parents, settling in Kingston. By age 19, he'd opened his own law office. His legal career propelled him into a variety of real estate and business dealings and into politics. At age of 29, he was first elected to the Legislature Assembly of the Province of Canada in 1844. He became joint-premier of the Province of Canada in the 1850's.
After several years of lobbying for Confederation,
Macdonald became the first prime minister
of  the Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867.

Addendum to the foregoing:
The 1967 International and Universal Exposition ’67 was a Category One World’s Fair in Montreal, Quebec, Canada from April 27 to October 29, 1967.  Considered to be the most successful World’s Fair in the 20th century, 62 nations participated.  EXPO 67 was Canada’s main celebration during its Centennial Year. On two giant islands in the St. Lawrence River, more than 50 million visitors were presented with ‘A Vision of the Future’ I comment that during the summer, my husband and I with our 3-year-old son (and his stroller) visited EXPO.

In addition to the statue of Sir, John A. Macdonald in Hamilton’s Gore Park, is Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School in the downtown core area…where one of my grand daughters attends. It is the largest High School with the Hamilton-Wentworth District High School Board.

Written by Merle Baird-Kerr…January 5, 2015
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