As I write this, it is Sunday morning, Feb. 7 and the Legion is awaiting Ontario Premier Doug Ford’s statement regarding reopening strategy so stay tuned to our website for updates on opening hours and the restart of Catch the Ace ticket sales.
As most people know, the month of February is Black History Month. Let us introduce you to a gentleman of colour who was born in Toronto in the year 1922. He was the son of West Indian immigrants, his father was a porter and his mother a maid. His name was Lincoln McCauley Alexander. In 1942 during the Second World War he joined the Royal Canadian Air Force as a wireless operator. Due to poor eyesight he was ineligible for combat and left the services in 1945 to pursue educational studies. From 1946 to 1949 he attended McMaster University and received a B.A. He continued studies at Osgoode Hall graduating in 1953 with a law degree. From 1953 to 1968 he continued in the legal profession and in 1965 he became a Queen’s Counsel.
In 1968 he changed careers . He ran for a political seat in Hamilton West and was successful in this endeavour. He became the first black person elected to the House of Commons where he served until 1985, becoming the Minister of Labour from 1980 to 1985.
In 1985 he became the 24th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and remained in this vice-regal role until 1991. Again, he was the first person of colour to hold this role. During that five year period he visited 672 communities, held 675 receptions, received an estimated 70,000 guests, attended some 4,000 engagements and visited 230 schools . Youth and education were his main priorities.
The motto on his coat of arms is Confidence, Determination and Perseverance. It would be safe to say, that having been such a high achiever and so well respected by his peers and the public, he definitely lived up to the standards of that coat of arms.
Remember, we can achieve many heights in this world if we are determined enough to follow our dreams and aspirations.
Branch 72 Pembroke of the Royal Canadian Legion says “thank you” to the owners and staff of Steve and Julie’s No Frills for their recent donation. Your generosity is most welcome.
Stay safe and healthy everyone. We at Branch 72 hope to see you soon.
Here’s a little humour for you; “Change is inevitable — except from a vending machine.”
June Anderson is the Branch 72 public relations officer.