What purpose does the Sir John A Macdonald statue in Hamilton’s Gore Park serve?
To celebrate the Confederation of Canada in 1867?
To honour Sir John A Macdonald?
A hundred or so Hamiltonians would gather each January at the foot of the statue in the late 1990s and well into the first decade of this century to celebrate Canada’s first prime minister’s birthday.
In Hamilton monarchist tradition, drinks and birthday cake followed in the Royal Connaught Hotel, emphasis on Royal.
Why did we gather? As a teenager, I joined Hamilton’s Sir John A Macdonald Society.
I can only speak for myself. To me, celebrating Sir was to celebrate Canada, the nation of generosity, peacekeeping, the perfect nation crafted by our achievements wrapped in Hamilton celebrating its many firsts.
The speakers remind us that Hamilton was the first city to erect a statue celebrating our first prime minister.
Hamilton’s historical societies and associations all sent representatives to the event.
I loved history, still do, and that was part of the draw.
As I, as we, as our society has learned more, as we continue to progress towards meeting the ideals we espouse, Sir John A Macdonald is no longer revered.
There are maybe a handful of members left in Hamilton’s Sir John A Macdonald Society.
Many of Hamilton’s leading historical advocates long ago walked away and are silent today.
A handful will delegate in favour of maintaining the statue in Gore Park. Their best argument for Macdonald is the idea that without Macdonald, there be no Canada. There be some form of a democratic state or states in the Westminister tradition north of the border with the United States.
What is there to honour about Macdonald? Not much.
Even his hometown of Kingston removed their Macdonald statue from its pedestal.
Do we need Macdonald to celebrate Canada? No, we do not.
The legacy of Macdonald’s decisions is a stain upon our nation, a bloodstain that we can never forget.
It is time to put the Macdonald statue away or in a museum.