Belfast Telegraph

Friday 26 December 2014

Creator of Canada's Mounties remembered

The life of the Scot who became Canada's first prime minister was being celebrated
The life of the Scot who became Canada's first prime minister was being celebrated

The life of the Scot who grew up to become Canada's first prime minister is being celebrated.

A plaque and cairn will mark the family background of John Macdonald, who was born in 1815 and went on to help lay the foundations of modern Canada, including its famous Mounties.

Although born in Glasgow, his family came from Dalnavert, Inverness-shire, the place chosen to mark the historic link.

The son of a merchant, Mr Macdonald emigrated with his family to Ontario, Canada, aged five and had set up a legal practice by the time he was 19.

Moving into politics he quickly rose through the ranks to become prime minister, a position he held for 18 years, winning six majority governments.

He is credited with developing the Canadian Transcontinental Railway, the provinces of Manitoba and British Columbia and the Canadian Mounted Police.

Mr Macdonald, who died in 1891 aged 76, is depicted on the Canadian 10-dollar bill.

Community Safety Minister Fergus Ewing said the memorial highlights the "close bond" between Scotland and Canada and said he hoped it will encourage tourists from Canada to the area.

"The early Scots who left these shores from the Highlands, and elsewhere in Scotland, left an incredible mark on Canada. You only need to look at how many towns, rivers and mountains have been named in honour of Scottish explorers, traders and adventurers to see the impact they had and the affection in which they are still held. None more so than the man we are commemorating today.

"Sir John A Macdonald is one of Scotland's most famous sons and had a huge impact on Canada and its people. He is credited with creating the building blocks of the modern country we all know today and has strong links with the Highlands and Badenoch."

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