Page last updated at 01:11 GMT, Wednesday, 12 May 2010 02:11 UK

Life of Sir John A. Macdonald honoured in Dalnavert

Sir John A. Macdonald
Sir John A. Macdonald was Canadian prime minister for 18 years

The life of a Scottish boy who went on to become Canada's first prime minister is to be honoured in a special ceremony in the Highlands.

Sir John A. Macdonald was born in Scotland in 1815, but his family emigrated to Ontario when he was five.

He became Canada's first prime minister in 1867, and his face still appears on the country's ten dollar bill.

A cairn and plaque in his honour will be unveiled in Dalnavert, near Aviemore, later on Wednesday.

Sir John was born in Glasgow, but both his mother and first wife were both from Inverness-shire.

The ceremony will be attended by Claude Boucher, the Canadian deputy high commissioner to the UK, as well as Scottish Community Safety Minister Fergus Ewing, historians and members of the local community.

Sir John A. Macdonald is one of Scotland's most famous sons and had a huge impact on Canada and its people
Fergus Ewing
Community Safety Minister

Sir John set up his own legal practice in Canada at the age of 19, before entering politics seven years later.

He devoted his life to promoting the Canadian Confederation and held the position of prime minister for 18 years, the second longest term in Canadian history.

During his time as prime minister, Sir John - who was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1867 - made it his priority to create a modern Canadian nation, developing the Canadian Transcontinental Railway and founding the Canadian Mounted Police, the Mounties.

He died in 1891 at the age of 76. His son, Hugh John Macdonald, went on to become premier of Manitoba and named his residence in Winnipeg as Dalnavert. The building now houses a museum.

'Close bond'

The celebrations in Dalnavert will coincide with Manitoba Day - a province which Sir John was credited with creating and which still enjoys close links with Scotland to this day.

Speaking ahead of the ceremony, Mr Ewing said: "Scotland has long enjoyed a close bond with Canada and its people. It is a relationship which stretches back centuries and continues today with our strong social, cultural and economic links.

"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.

"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."

Print Sponsor

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific