Not long after 10 they came from the west.

Motorcycle cops first. Blazing red and blue lights flashing.

Then police cars.

Then a hearse bearing the body of Lincoln MacCauley Alexander, the first black Member of Parliament in Canadian history.

He was so proud to represent Hamilton West for 12 years.

It was a beautiful night out front of Hamilton city hall, warm, 17C, hard to imagine it was late October, almost Halloween.

About 75 people were on hand as the gleaming black car carrying Linc pulled up near the main doors at the front of city hall.

The short, silver-haired man with a hearing aid in each ear. He was dressed in a black tuxedo.

The vets who stood in salute as Linc was carried inside.

The four young black kids.

They were quiet and respectful and watched as Linc was carried across a red carpet and inside by eight Hamilton police officers dressed in black.

They were met by Mayor Bob Bratina in a black suit, chain of office around his neck.

Drapped in a Canadian flag, Linc's coffin was carried inside and his last trip home had begun.

It was over in 20 minutes.

Tuesday morning the real goodbyes start at 8 a.m. when Hamilton city hall hosts its first state funeral and the people come from east and west, north and south to say farewell.