A statue of Lincoln MacCauley Alexander, Canada’s first Black Member of Parliament and the first Black person to hold a viceregal position in Canada, was unveiled at Queen’s Park last Sunday.
The son of Caribbean immigrants, Alexander who was born in Toronto, served in the Royal Canadian Air Force in the Second World War. He became a lawyer and represented a Hamilton riding as an MP between 1968 and 1980.
Alexander also served as Ontario’s lieutenant governor from 1985 to 1990. He died in 2012 at the age of 90.
Ted Arnott, speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, noted at the unveiling of the bust, that Alexander “inspired thousands of young Canadians with his life story and his example of overcoming discrimination, pursuing excellence, and working for a better Canada.”
“He met a lot of adversity and obstacles but never let them stand in his way,” said his granddaughter, Erika Alexander who also spoke at the unveiling.
“He never wanted his race to be a factor. He wanted his path to be determined by his character, but always recognized he had to work harder,” she told the gathering.
The bust, sculpted by Toronto artist Quentin VerCetty, was commissioned by the LINC Bust Committee. Funding for the project was provided by the Black Opportunity Fund, the RBC Foundation and individual donors.
Ontario officially proclaimed January 21 as “Lincoln Alexander Day” in 2013, and it was recognized nationwide in 2015.