Academic journal article Canadian Parliamentary Review

Know Your Mace

Academic journal article Canadian Parliamentary Review

Know Your Mace

Article excerpt

Alberta's first Legislature was caught off guard just before its/first sitting: there was no Mace. Because / nobody so much as suggested that a sitting could be held without it, Alexander Rutherford's Liberal government ordered the rush construction of one from Watson Brothers Jewelry of Calgary.

Watson Brothers hired Rufus E. Butterworth to create Alberta's first Mace, which he made entirely from scrap in only a few weeks' time. Its shaft was plumbing pipe and it is rumoured to have been mounted on a toilet tank float. Ornamental decorations around the orb were made from old shaving mug handles, bits of an old bedstead and other scraps of wood. A piece of red velvet and a coat of gold paint provided finishing touches.

Remarkably, the makeshift Mace was used for 50 years. It was finally replaced on February 9, 1956, when the provincial employees' union presented a new Mace to the Legislative Assembly in honour of Alberta's 50th anniversary. Nevertheless, the first! Mace came out of retirement to be carried into the Chamber on one day, March 15, 2006, to mark the 100th anniversary of the Assembly's first sitting. …

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