Lincoln Alexander's Anniversary Message to TVO
The son of West Indian immigrants, Lincoln Alexander was born in Toronto in 1922. He served in the Royal Canadian Air Force during World War II, from 1942-1945. He graduated from Osgood Hall Law School in 1953 and was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1965 .In the 1968 election, Alexander resisted the Trudeau tide and was elected as the Conservative member for Hamilton West. He was Canada's first black Member of Parliament. Lincoln Alexander was Canada's labour minister during the brief Joe Clark government from 1979-80. He would continue to serve in the House of Commons until 1985, when he was appointed Ontario's 24th lieutenant governor, a post he held until 1991.
Alexander was a Companion of the Order of Canada and a member of the Order of Ontario.
In 1992 Alexander was appointed Chancellor of the University of Guelph. He was re-appointed five times, making him the longest-serving chancellor in the university's history.
The current Lieutenant Governor David Onley commented: "At a time when racism was endemic in Canadian society, he broke through barriers that treated visible minorities as second-class citizens, strangers in their own land."
Photos courtesy The Hamilton Spectator/Metroland Media Group and The Hamilton Public Library/Elections Canada.