This is a significant day in local as well as national history. Today marks the birthday of Canada’s first Prime Minister Sir John A Macdonald. Here’s Mike Postovit.
For some — Macdonald is Kingston. In fact — Sir John seems to be everywhere –whether it’s City Park. Or here — keeping a watchful eye on Memorial Hall at City Hall. And his birthday — well his birthday always seems to bring high profile people to town.
That was former Prime Minister Steven Harper a couple of years ago — he was in Kingston during Macdonalds’ 200th birthday celebrations. 2017 marks his 202nd birthday and a time to reflect.
John Macdonald was born in Glasgow Scotland in 1815. He made a name for himself in politics as a Kingston city councillor, before moving on to Ottawa and leading the country on two different occasions. It was also 50 years ago today that Lester Pearson came to town -he spoke at Queens’ University — but did sneak-out to the Cataraqui Cemetery to honour the Old Chieftain.
Arthur Milnes/Macdonald Historian
“He came — very low key — he came to pay his respects to Macdonald and to consider his successes and failures. It’s pretty hard not to look back on Macdonald as the first prime minister on a day like today.”
Others to pay their respects — Brian Mulroney — this was over 25 years ago.
And still others that held the office have made their way to town because of Macdonald.
“This plaque for example is interesting — it was unveiled during the prime ministership of Jean Chretien and a lot of people don’t realize that January 11th is also his birthday. We’ve had 23 very dedicated Canadians who gave their best in the toughest job in the country and on a day like today — listen, first and fore most regardless of your political views let’s honour our public service through the highest political office in the land so Happy Sir John A Day to all our Prime Ministers.”
Mike Postovit, CKWS News, Kingston