Archive for the ‘Bowell’ Category

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Sir Mackenzie Bowell was Canada’s 5th Prime Minister (1894-1996)

1) Becomes a printshop apprentice at age 10 at the Belleville Intelligencer. He eventually works his way up to owner and publisher of the paper.

2) Serves as the Most Worshipful Grand Master and Sovereign of the Orange Association of British North America for eight years.

3) The third Prime Minister in three years to have nine children. Four of his children die young, while his youngest child, Charlie, succeeds him as publisher of the Belleville Intelligencer.

4) The only Prime Minister who is forced from office by his cabinet.

5) The only Prime Minister to die in Canada without having a state funeral. In fact, no leading politicians turn up for his 1917 funeral service in Belleville.

from Unknown and Unforgettable: A Guide to Canada’s Prime Ministers


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MacdonaldThe majority of Canadian Prime Ministers have had schools named after them, but as some Canadians revise their assessment of our leaders through the prism of today’s mores, expect the clamour to expunge the names to continue. That’s because all of our leaders have a dark side. They did things in their day that they believed (and were seen by most of society at the time) to be the ‘right thing’.

Macdonald has lots of schools named after him; Laurier has a university; Abbott has a college. A few have had schools named after them that have since closed (Bowell and Bennett). Clark is the only living former PM with a school bearing his name, although Mulroney has a university institute named after him in the Maritimes.

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apr041895: The Canada-Newfoundland Confederation Conference opens in Ottawa, offering the colony at least its second crack at joining Canada since 1867. The Prime Minister, Sir Mackenzie Bowell — the “Sir” is still just  a few months old — offers to cover up to $10 million of Newfoundland’s debt if it joins Confederation.

Not good enough. The colony asks Canada to assume its entire $16-million debt. Britain, anxious to unload another costly colony, urges Canada to accept the terms. But Bowell refuses and Newfoundland turns Confederation down. The island doesn’t join Canada for another 64 years.

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mar041843: Mackenzie Bowell joins the Royal Scarlet Lodge of the Orange Order in Belleville. The strident Protestant organization becomes an important part of his life, culminating in his term as Most Worshipful Grand Master and Sovereign of the Orange Association of British America in 1870.

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AbbottGraduating from  the University of McGill College in 1854 as a Bachelor of Civil Law, John Abbott later became the first Canadian Prime Minister with a university degree. He was typical of most of the country’s leaders who earned law degrees – 10 Prime Ministers in all.

Five PMs did not have a university degree (Macdonald, Mackenzie, Thompson, Bowell and Borden), while Mackenzie King had five.

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MackenzieNewspaper editors among past PMs were Alexander Mackenzie (Lambton Shield), Mackenzie Bowell (Belleville Intelligencer), Charles Tupper (British Colonist), and Wilfrid Laurier (Le Défricheur).

John A. Macdonald founded the Toronto Mail, William Lyon Mackenzie King edited the government’s Labour Gazette, Pierre Trudeau was heavily involved with Cité libre, Joe Clark wrote for the Albertan and various other publications, and John Turner edited his high school and university papers.

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Twenty Prime Ministers in all have had their official portraits hung in the Centre Block. Only the two most recent — Paul Martin and Stephen Harper — await their turns.

There is no set schedule for determining when a Prime Minister will have his or her portrait painted and added to the collection. Two PMs — Sir John A. Macdonald and William Lyon Mackenzie King — had their portraits done while still in office. Two others — Sir John Abbott and Sir Mackenzie Bowell — waited more than 100 years for their canvases to be done. Both were unveiled in 2002.

Only two artists have more than one portrait in the collection. John Wycliffe Lowes Forster painted Alexander Mackenzie and Sir John Thompson, while Kenneth Keith Forbes painted Sir Robert Borden and R.B. Bennett.

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