Special Celebrations 2015

1815 - 200th Birth Year

1215 - 800th Year

Sir John Alexander Macdonald
(11 January 1815 - 6 June 1891)

Sir John was a Scottish-born Canadian who was the first Prime Minister of Canada (1867-1873, 1878-1891). As the dominant figure of Canadian Confederation, he had a political career which spanned almost half a century. Macdonald served 19 years as Canadian Prime Minister. Macdonald was the leading figure in the discussions and conferences, which resulted in the British North America Act and the birth of Canada as a nation on 1 July 1867. He had many accomplishments but none more important than building the railroad across the country as the means of passenger and freight transportation that helped unite Canada.

Magna Carta signed at
Runnymede, England, June 15, 1215.

Magna Carta, meaning 'The Great Charter', is one of the most famous documents in the world. Originally issued by King John of England (r.1199-1216) as a practical solution to the political crisis he faced in 1215, Magna Carta established for the first time the principle that everybody, including the king, was subject to the law. Although nearly a third of the text was deleted or substantially rewritten within ten years, and almost all the clauses have been repealed in modern times, Magna Carta remains a cornerstone of the British constitution and has been celebrated as a symbol of freedom from oppression.

At the Spirit of Canada Gallery on a lovely summer afternoon, a lively celebration was held for the 200th birth year of Canada's first Prime Minister and the 800th year of the signing of the Magna Carta. Sir John A. (Burke Van Valkenburg) arrived by horse driven carriage owned by Randy Bird. Many of those attending wore fancy dresses and the men donned their top hats. Complete with music, refreshments and political stories, the glasses were raised to a rousing toast!

Photos of the Celebration

Mouse over the photos to access controls and start slide show or click any thumbnail.

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