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Ceramics Page 5

Great Canadian Ceramics

Duke of York, Canada Visit Plate - 1901

Great Canadian Heritage Treasure
Visit of the Duke & Duchess of York to Canada, 1901
Orig. ceramic saucer - Size - 8.5"
Found - Burlington, ON

The Boer War produced the very first Canadian china souvenir plates - plates honouring occasions, rather than scenics or people - ever made. This one memorializes the visit of the Duke and Duchess of York - the future King George V and Queen Mary - on their Boer War visit to Canada in 1901.

Oddly enough, the plate, left, is not really rare because thousands of them were produced to satisfy the enormous public demand. They can frequently be found in antique malls.

The Duke of York, is the title customarily worn by the second in line to the British throne, just behind the Prince of Wales. When Queen Victoria died, his father, Edward, Prince of Wales became King, and he moved up a rank to take his father's old title. Nine years later, on the death of his aged father, he became King George V and his wife, Queen Mary.

A main reason for coming to Canada was to dedicate the statue to Queen Victoria on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.

Another key duty for coming during the middle of the Boer War, was to thank Canadians for their help in fighting the Boers, and to pin medals on Boer War volunteers who had just returned from South Africa.

Below the ceremony on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, as the Duke of York - the future King George V, pins the Victoria Cross on the tunic of Eddie Holland VC below - the hero of Leliefontein - on the carpet in the shadow of Queen Victoria's statue.

Today we honour Queen Victoria's statue in a different way...

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Insight Canada

I remember encountering Prime Minister Pearson in the hall of the main block, in the background, as I went to the washroom in the old days.

No such luck anymore.

Today if you have to go to the washroom, while touring the main building of Canada's Parliament, you must take your walker, cane, or wheel-chair, way outside and behind the Queen Victoria statue left - seriously - where the public's washrooms are now located.

Queen Victoria has since heard a gazillion flushes - and who knows what else - from a grateful nation...

God Bless our Civil Servants...

But there is word they are investigating putting in an electric train or golf cart service for senior citizens...

The rest of us will continue to hoof it over to the Queen... Today it remains the most visited statue in Canada.