Kingston: The Sir John A. Macdonald Bicentennial Commission has announced that former Ontario Premier William Davis is the inaugural recipient of the Commission’s award for leadership.
“As Ontario’s Premier between 1971 and 1985, and as a ground-breaking Minister of Education before that, Mr. Davis, while working diligently to advance his province’s interests, also acted in the best traditions of Sir John A. Macdonald and never failed to put Canada first,” Arthur Milnes, Commissioner of the Sir John A. Macdonald Bicentennial Commission, said. “He also played a leading role as Minister of Education in ensuring that the 150th birthday of Sir John A. in 1965 was honoured fully by the Ontario Government led by John Robarts. Among his contributions that year was the awarding of a Sir John A. Macdonald Prize in history to a student at each high school in Ontario, the establishment of visiting professorships between Ontario and Scotland, and his role in re-naming the 401 the Macdonald-Cartier Freeway.”
In Brampton, Mr. Davis said he was honoured to receive this award from the Sir John A. Macdonald Bicentennial Commission.
“I have long felt that as a nation we do not devote enough attention to the study of our rich shared history,” he said. “I remember well the celebrations across Ontario and Canada of Sir John A’s 150th birthday in 1965. It would please Sir John A., I am sure, to learn that a group from his home community of Kingston is taking the lead and placing the coming Bicentennial of our Father of Confederation’s birth high on the national agenda as 2015 approaches. The Commission has my support and best wishes.”
A citation in honour of Mr. Davis will be read out during the annual noon-time celebration of Sir John A. Macdonald Day, January 11, at the Kingston statue of Canada’s first and founding Prime Minister. The Commission will formally present the award in person to Mr. Davis later in 2012.
All are welcome to attend the annual Sir John A. statue ceremony on January 11. This year’s line-up includes a choir provided by the Limestone District School Board, a Canadian citizenship re-affirmation ceremony, the annual Sir John A. limerick reading contest and more.
The non-partisan, non-profit Sir John A. Macdonald Bicentennial Commission – SirJohnA2015.ca – was founded in Kingston in 2010 with the aim of fostering increased interest in and awareness of Sir John A. Macdonald’s pivotal role in the creation of Canada in Kingston, regionally and nationally, particularly amongst students, in the years leading up to 2015 and beyond.
The Sir John A. Macdonald Bicentennial Commission Award for Leadership will be awarded annually by the Commission through 2015.
For further information contact Arthur Milnes in Kingston at: (613) 328-5592 or via email arthur.milnes@SirJohnA2015.ca.