Lincoln Alexander Day celebrates life and legacy of a pioneer

Residents are invited to visit City Hall to share their memories of Lincoln Alexander in a book of remembrance.

City of Hamilton marks 1st Lincoln Alexander Day on Jan. 21, 2014 at city hall

Hamilton joins in celebration of the first Lincoln Alexander Day today.

Jan. 21, which happens to be Alexander’s birthday, is now recognized across Ontario as a time to reflect and commemorate his outstanding achievements.

Residents are invited to visit City Hall today for a “Celebration of Life” to share their memories of Lincoln Alexander in a book of remembrance. The book will be available on the second floor between noon and 6 p.m. 

“As Lincoln Alexander’s adopted hometown, which honoured him as our greatest citizen, I encourage all Hamiltonians to celebrate in your own ways his enormous legacy to our city, our province, and our country,” said Mayor Bob Bratina.

Students of the Hamilton elementary school that carries his name, Lincoln Alexander Elementary School, will sing during a special celebration at Queen’s Park.

In November 2013, the Ontario legislature voted unanimously to proclaim Lincoln Alexander Day as an annual day of recognition across Ontario.

He died in Oct. 19, 2012 at the age of 90.

Born in 1922, Alexander rose above the prejudice of the era and pursued an education. He moved to Hamilton after serving in the Royal Canadian Air Force during the Second World War and attended McMaster University and Osgoode Hall Law School.

Alexander broke new ground when he was elected Canada’s first black MP representing Hamilton West from 1968 to 1980. In 1979, he was appointed Minister of Labour, becoming the country’s first black federal cabinet minister. He then made history again by becoming the province’s first black Lieutenant Governor, serving from 1985 and 1991.