People

Lincoln Alexander Dies

By Ryan McGreal
Published October 19, 2012

The Honourable Lincoln MacCauley Alexander, Member of Parliament for Hamilton West and the 24th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, died today.

Alexander was elected to the House of Commons in 1968 for the Hamilton West riding as a member of the Progressive Conservative Party and served briefly as the Minister of Labour under Prime Minister Joe Clark before resigning in 1980 to lead the Ontario Workers Compensation Board. In 1985 he was appointed the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario and served until 1991.

He received numerous accolades over his career, being recognized as the first black Member of the Canadian Parliament and the first black Lieutenant Governor in Canada.

He received the Order of Ontario in 1992 and was made a Companion of the Order of Canada. He was Chancellor of the University of Guelph, an Honourary Chief of Hamilton Police Service, an Honourary Patron of St. John Ambulance and Chair of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation.

He was also the Chair of the Ontario Heritage Trust and prepared a report for the Ontario Ministry of Culture on the Lister Building, recommending that it be recognized as "a property of cultural heritage value or interest of provincial significance" under the Heritage Act.

The Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway, a municipal expressway running east-west across the upper city, was named in his honour when it opened in 1997 - though Alexander himself never received a drivers licence.

His memoir, Go To School, You're a Little Black Boy, was published in 2006.

He married Marni Beal in July 2011, and celebrated his 90th birthday this past January. Before his death, he was Chancellor Emeritus of the University of Guelph, a member of the Ontario Heritage Trust board, a member of the Raptors Foundation and Doctors Hospital.

He was widely known and respected in Hamilton and across Canada for a lifetime of achievements and a tireless personal warmth.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By enbertussi (registered) - website | Posted October 19, 2012 at 12:07:04

:(

Mr. Alexander was a great dude, he was generous with his time.

He once helped me when I was in a time of great need. His wise sage advice helped me overcome some serious business legal issues.

I feel very thankful that I am so lucky to have been able to have met him.

I just wish we never named a suburban sprawl high way after him...

I once asked him about that at a Jazzfest in Burlington and he found it rather amusing that of all things a highway was named after him, ever gracious he never would have complained, but I think he would have preferred a park where children play, be named after him ;)

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By rednic (registered) | Posted October 19, 2012 at 16:07:46

I never met him, but I saw him 'trucking' around Main East when I first moved here. One day I was at Chiropractor’s with a bunch of needles stuck in my shoulder, and there was an almighty commotion in the reception area, it seemed the whole female staff was screaming at the arrival of some celebrity. I was assuming that Justin Beiber had arrived. Well how wrong I was there sitting in the reception are was Linc. Basically holding court with the entire staff. A real people person. If only our current day politicians had such charisma and charm.

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By TheMOFMan (anonymous) | Posted October 20, 2012 at 12:28:45

So long, Linc. You've certainly made an impact:

http://hammerhomelower.wordpress.com/2012/10/20/farewell-to-the-linc-its-up-to-us-now/

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