Over the past three years he has built a small collection of Sir John A's letters which were once owned by Louis Melzack, founder of Classics Bookshop (first in Montreal and then in Toronto).
“These were part of Melzack’s estate sale,” Bashir says. “They are priceless to me and I could never quantify them in any dollar-figure for they are far more valuable than whatever their auction or market value could ever be.”
“To know how this beacon of liberty and freedom came about, especially in this intolerant day and age, no country can equal Canada in its inclusiveness and fairness” he says. “Without Sir John A., there would be no Canada to speak of.”
Bashir I grew up in Vancouver and during his teens he was in the Royal Canadian Army Cadets there.
“Being from a minority religious community in Pakistan, I remember how badly we were treated at the hands of the dominant majority,” So, I can never forget the chance at life and the opportunities Canada gave me,” he says.
The nine letter he managed to buy are all written to George Herman , a one-time clerk of the executive council of Upper Canada and who lost his job after the unification of Lower and Upper Canada.
“I just worship Sir John A. Macdonald. I believe that more immigrants to Canada (such as myself) need to be aware that without this great statesman there would have been no Canada to immigrate to. We would have been gobbled up by our giant neighbour to the south” he says. “Without Sir John A's visionary treaties, the first nations would have been massacred like they were by the American government. I am honoured and privileged to own nine hand-written letters of Sir John A.”
To celebrate Sir John A's life and work he posted those letters on YouTube.