Sunday, January 11, 2015

Sir John Wants A Drink

Today is the date of John A. Macdonald's birth in Glasgow, Scotland. A Father of Confederation, co-premier of the Canadas, and the nation's first Prime Minister, Sir John is more than anyone of his time the driving force behind the creation of the country. Without him there simply wouldn't be a Canada. He is our founding father, and today marks the bicentennial of his birth. Much about his life can be found here. 

He had his flaws, certainly, and policies that must be criticized, but on a day like today, we can remember his ingenuity and political skill at persuasion, forging a country out of a collection of disparate colonies. He learned from the mistakes that led to the American Civil War, and heeded those lessons well. The vision he and his fellow Fathers of Confederation devised called for a strong central government binding the country together, something the Dark Lord currently residing in the Prime Minister's office could certainly pay heed to.


The above sculpture features Sir John on Parliament Hill, taken last winter. The statue in the background on horseback is Queen Elizabeth. Below, these summer photos are the statues at the airport terminal, where Fathers of Confederation and co-premiers Macdonald and Sir George-Etienne Cartier greet newcomers to the capital.


Sir John, of course, aside from being a nation's father was also a drunken scoundrel and a rogue, and would no doubt appreciate raising a glass in his honour. Happy Birthday, Sir John; you don't look a day over fifty.




39 comments:

  1. Belas esculturas! Feliz aniversário para ele. Gostei de ler a sua rica explanação
    Um abraço

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  2. Nice lifesize sculpture with the bench, as if you're invited to join them.

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  3. Not sure I'd want to sit between those two. Looks like they'd like to trap me into a political conversation of some sort. :-)

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  4. The second sculptures are nice, they really seems to invite you to come sit with them.

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  5. You do have a way with words! Love the post and the sculptures, but like most Americans know very little about our country! I think I shall do some homework later today.

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  6. Love these sculptures, William !

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  7. I like to learn history in this way, better than read fifty boring books with the same theme. Thank you very much, William, I know something of Ottawa and now Canada by you.

    Tomás.

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  8. nice to hear about your founding father. glad he took lessons from america's mistakes. :)

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  9. Loved this tribute, William. And I liked that you didn't gloss over his foibles.

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  10. Nice to see those great sculptures and get a history lesson along with it.

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  11. Sir John may have been a rascal but he had a positie idea for Canada. Harper on the other hand pretends to be mr goody goody but is incredibly evil as he wants to destroy what we have. Oh by the way , nice job on the statues .

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  12. Super sculptures William, I like the last one of Sir John sitting on the bench the best, as long as he leaned from his mistakes.. we all make them :)

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  13. @Gracita: thank you!

    @Marleen: it does have that effect.

    @Revrunner: true, but it would make for an interesting conversation!

    @Marianne: they certainly do.

    @Lowell: I knew the day was coming, so I figured why not mark it?

    @Karl: as do I.

    @Tomas: you're welcome.

    @Luis: I certainly think so.

    @Tex: devolving so much power to the individual states was in hindsight a huge mistake.

    @EG: and he had many of those.

    @Judy: thank you!

    @Red: I can't wait to see the Dark Lord's last day in the Prime Minister's Office.

    @Grace: as long as we learn from them, mistakes are useful.

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  14. Great photos! There seems to be a lot of Canadian history in Ottawa. I'll have to plan a trip one day.

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  15. I love your descriptions of this historical figure!

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  16. A ice set of beautiful statues, all with an interesting historical background!

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  17. Get a photo of yourself sitting with them!

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  18. A fine tribute to our first PM and a great collection of photos to illustrate. I'd gladly tip a glass to Sir John A.

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  19. Imagine if they were really trapped under there, like in Warehouse 13.

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  20. Thank you, W for the overdue (to me) lesson in Canadian history. Appreciated and well shot.

    ALOHA from Honolulu
    ComfortSpiral
    <3

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  21. I'll raise a glass to him! Just finished reading a book about D'Arcy McGee that had Macdonald featured.

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  22. @Jen: it's a lovely place any time of the year.

    @Sharon: he was quite a character.

    @VP: thank you!

    @Norma: I'll definitely have to do that!

    @Hilary: many people will be doing that today.

    @Whisk: oh, boy!

    @Cloudia: you're welcome.

    @Jackie: I've featured him on the blog before. He was quite a colourful figure too, and his statue is here on the Hill.

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    Replies
    1. I can't help it. That's how my brain sees it.

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  23. Good post for the day, William!

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  24. Lots of famous people are scoundrels and rogues, so no shame there! :)

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  25. Thanks for letting me visit. The desserts are excellent, tuto natural! Bon Appetite!

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  26. With all of his political accomplishments, maybe one can overlook his drinking and roguitude? (I invented roguitude . . . it seemed to fit.)

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  27. Happy birthday, Sir John! Anyone who helped steer Canada away from a potential civil war deserves a toast, roguitude or not. (I like Jack's coinage.)

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  28. i always enjoy statues - because they give them such character. too cool! ( :

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  29. @RedPat: thank you!

    @Pat: certainly not!

    @Filinico: thanks for stopping by!

    @Jack: I like that word!

    @Kay: I imagine William Seward didn't care for him. The Secretary of State had designs on annexing Canada, but Macdonald outfoxed him all through the 1860s.

    @Beth: they certainly do.

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  30. Nice artistic work put in to the statues.

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  31. He's got a bit of a history. But very interesting. he lived here and my friend is writing about it! She has a grant!

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  32. He was a man who makes Canadian history a little more exciting!

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  33. Well, I'm glad someone benefitted from the Civil War!

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  34. All leaders should deserve such a tribute. Sadly, they do not. I'm sure the slaves felt they benefited, Not as much as they should have, but it was their start.

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  35. Rogues are always the most fun, aren't they? Sounds like he was a visionary, even if he was a drunken scoundrel!

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  36. I like especially the idea of the location of these people at the airport.

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