Manitoba's Mace

Manitoba's Mace

The ceremonial mace used by the Manitoba legislative assembly is Manitoba's second.

Once a weapon used by the monarch's bodyguards, the mace evolved into a highly symbolic ceremonial emblem of the authority delegated to the Speaker of the House and legislature. No piece of legislation may be debated or voted upon unless, if the speaker is presiding, the mace rests on a royal blue cushion placed on a table in the house or, if the speaker is absent, on a floor rack under the table. The mace signifies that the legislative assembly draws its power from the people and its executive authority from the Crown.

Legend says a soldier of the 1870 Red River expeditionary force under Colonel Garnet Wolseley carved the head of Manitoba's first mace from the hub of a Red River cart, and that its staff was a part of the force's flagstaff. That mace, used at the first session of the legislature held on March 15, 1871, served for 13 years.

It was replaced by the present mace, a handsome gold-plated instrument emblazoned with the floral emblems of four of Manitoba's principal founding ethnic groups: the English rose, the French fleur-de-lis, the Scottish thistle and the Irish shamrock.

The head of this magnificent instrument features a crown and the beaver, symbolizing Canada's sovereignty even as it proclaims our ties to Great Britain and the Commonwealth.Weighing 13 kilograms (28 pounds), it is one of the most beautiful maces in Canada. It is stored in the speaker's office in the Legislative Building when not in use. No longer used in the legislative assembly but still of immeasurable historical value, the old mace is stored alongside its replacement.