And, since Sir John A. Macdonald is turning 199 years old this January 11th, and in 2015 the Old Chieftain’s 200th Birthday will be celebrated coast to coast, it seems fitting that our first prime minister be given a toast (multiple toasts!) of epic proportions, here in Canada and beyond. The idea has been embraced and brought to the Commission by an individual by the name of Mitch Gold, who is rallying support and inspiring others to make a toast to Sir John A. The Commission loves the idea, and we want to encourage every Canadian to make a toast to Sir John, next month for his 199th and certainly in 2015 for the big 200. More information on this initiative can be found in the Facebook group Sir John A. Macdonald- Toasts 2015. Toasters are invited to share videos of their toasts as well.
It’s no secret that Sir John was a man who had a fondness for drink, and he was also considered by many to be a good public speaker, so Toasts seem like an apt way to wish the man well on his 199thBirthday. It’s a pretty easy tribute too; a no fuss, no muss way to give a nod to our first prime minister on his Birthday. All that is required is the pouring of a drink, the raising of a glass, and a few words of recognition (spoken aloud or otherwise).
Recently in our Newsletter, author and historian Charlotte Gray said she would be celebrating, “with a glass of something manly and alcoholic and a silent prayer of thanks.” Michael Adams, co-founder of Environics Research Group, told us he thinks Canadians should celebrate by ““Going out into the middle of any outdoor hockey rink on January 11 and drinking a glass of brandy, John A’s favourite libation. If the ice looks thin, go anyway.” We would like to encourage all Canadians to consider toasting our Father of Confederation this January 11th, whether curled up with a glass by the fire in solitude or freezing cold in the middle of an ice rink, surrounded by other toasters. We’ll all be raising our glasses high at the Commission offices this coming Birthday, and even higher in 2015. For inspiration, we leave you with Stuart McLean’s toast to Sir John on The Vinyl Café for Father’s Day in 2012:
“So let us this father’s day lift a glass to John A Macdonald our father in crime. And let it be a whiskey glass. How, How. Time to mount the ramparts again I say. Time to start the dreaming again. Time to strap ourselves to the engine and head west. To seek, as they say, a newer world.”