Sir John A. Macdonald may be known as Kingston’s greatest son, but for over ten years he lived on the Bay of Quinte and Prince Edward County. His early years there helped to shape the man who would become our Nation Maker.
The Macdonald Project of Prince Edward County has been established to celebrate and commemorate the most famous resident of this area.The project began in the fall of 2009, when a group of residents met to discuss Macdonald’s important connection to the region. It was decided to celebrate Macdonald’s upcoming bicentennial in 2015 by commissioning a bronze statue of the young John A. to be erected in Picton.
The Steering Committee began the search for an artist, and were quickly impressed by Ruth Abernethy. “Ms Abernethy’s work is central to the project. [She] has designed a work that is fresh and imaginative,” said David Warrick, the Steering Committee’s Chair. The sculpture, named ”Holding Court,” will depict the nineteen year old John A. Macdonald presenting his first court case before a judge and jury in the Picton court house. This famously took place on October 8, 1834. Though a location has yet to be selected, Warrick says the work will be installed in a pedestrian friendly place in downtown Picton.
The Macdonald Project will help revitalize historic downtown Picton by focusing interest on Canadian history and help promote a heritage economy. The sculpture “will act as a proud reminder that Canada’s first Prime Minister came of age in Picton and launched his career in law, public administration and politics in this small village of Upper Canada,” says Warrick.
Don’t believe that you have any Macdonald history in your community? Well, think again. The story of Sir John A. Macdonald, and his role in Canada’s founding is worth celebrating from coast to coast to coast. These final words from David Warrick are all the proof one needs of this:
“There is much to celebrate in this great country of ours. Ours may not be a perfect union but it is improving with every passing year. Macdonald was the leader who mastered the art of politics and accomplished great things for the project called Canada. Wilfrid Laurier, leader of the Opposition, reminds us of Macdonald’s contribution to Canada with this famous line from his eulogy to Sir John A. Macdonald in the House of Commons on June 8, 1891: ‘It may be said without any exaggeration whatever, that the life of Sir John Macdonald, from the time he entered Parliament, is the history of Canada.’”