The students, who came from the two Kingston public schools the future Supreme Court Justice attended while growing up, peppered Mr. Justice Cromwell with questions about his life and work during the 90-minute walk. In turn, he regaled them with stories about his early days in the city, the importance of Macdonald of Kingston in the crafting of the Canadian constitution, and he encouraged them to consider public service – like Sir John A. did long ago – when they complete their studies.
Perhaps most impressive, was the way in which the Justice spoke to the young folks, something Commissioner Arthur Milnes noted in both the Kingston Whig-Standard and CKWS Television. “What I really admired about him, he didn’t talk down to them at all. He treated them as adults,” said Milnes. “If one kid gets it and goes to his library today or on the internet tonight, then we had a good day. That’s what it’s all about.”
Mr. Justice Cromwell has now joined former Prime Ministers Paul Martin and John Turner, Minister of Finance Jim Flaherty, Senators Linda Frum and Mike Duffy, former Ontario Premier Bob Rae, award-winning journalist and Macdonald biographerRichard Gwyn, respected broadcast journalists Lloyd Robertson and Steve Paikin, stellar Kingston electronic media personalities Julie Brown and Lisa Ray, US Ambassador to Canada David Jacobson, former Canadian Ambassador to WashingtonDerek Burney, Queen’s Professor Emeritus John Meisel, hockey broadcasting legendDon Cherry, and other distinguished citizens in leading the Sir John A. walk in Kingston to support the Sir John A. Macdonald Bicentennial Commission’s work.
The event was organized by the non-profit, non-partisan commission, the body established in 2010 to encourage celebrations and educational activities across Canada to mark the 200th anniversary (in 2015) of Sir John A. Macdonald’s birth, in partnership with the Queen’s University Law School and the Limestone District School Board.