MANITOBA DAY REMARKS
HON. MYRNA DRIEDGER
SPEAKER OF THE MANITOBA LEGISLATURE
MAY 13, 2019
May 12, 2019 marked the 149th anniversary of Manitoba joining Confederation as a Province. In honour of this historic occasion, in today’s Speaker’s Parade the Sergeant-at-Arms carried our original Manitoba Mace.
Carved from the hub of a Red River cart wheel by a soldier with the Wolseley Expedition in 1870, this Mace made its first formal appearance on March 15, 1871 at the first session of the first Manitoba Legislature, held in the home of A.G.B. Bannatyne in Winnipeg. Included in the designs carved into our original Mace are the rose, thistle, harp and fleur-de-lys. The Bannatyne home was destroyed by fire in December 1873, thankfully the Mace survived.
This Mace was retired in 1884 after 13 years of service when our current Mace was first used. The original Mace has a permanent home on display in the Speaker’s Office. It came out of retirement for the third time today after 134 years for this celebration. This important historical artifact was used in today’s Speaker’s Parade to pay tribute to the rich history of our province.
The original Mace, as well as the Assembly’s current Mace, will be on display in the Chamber in their respective cases during the Doors Open event on May 25th and 26th, 2019. Manitobans are encouraged to visit the Assembly Chamber on those days to see the Maces firsthand.
In addition to the original Mace, the Star Blanket Mace cushion and the beautiful beaded Mace runner – gifted to the Assembly by Indigenous Peoples in 2010 – are also on display today to help celebrate Manitoba Day, and to honour Manitoba’s Indigenous heritage.
These artifacts also serve as a reminder that this Assembly Chamber and Legislative Building are on Treaty One territory, the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe and the homeland of the Métis people.
I am pleased that we are able to including our original Mace in the celebration of Manitoba day, and I hope this tradition continues.