As Picton goes through a process of community consultation about what to do with the bronze statue of young John A. Macdonald I would like to add some information to the discussion. Attached is a letter which I sent to the Mayor and Council with some little known information about Macdonald which may be of interest to you at the Gazette.
Sculptor Ruth Abernethy has produced a beautiful piece of public art, using the lost wax process. The “Holding Court” bronze tells the story of the young John Macdonald who grew up in the County and where he began his school days. He had just become a lawyer and was involved in his first court case. It was in your new courthouse defending himself against the local doctor Moore.
This bright, friendly young man would go on to lead the formation of a new nation in the world. These are the kind of stories which help give a sense of place and a better understanding of a community.
I was there in 2015 and saw the huge crowds of proud Canadians who were there to celebrate their country and this fine piece of art by a very talented sculptor. John A. Macdonald is an interesting part of the story of Prince Edward County. He needs to be better known and better understood in the context of his time.
He is part of your story and certainly a big part of the story of Canada. It was an heroic struggle by our ancestors to bring this country into being and keep it going. It would go on to become a good and decent country and a great success in the world today. Mistakes were made and these early pioneers saw the world very differently then we do today, but by respecting our ancestors we learn to respect ourselves and learn from their mistakes.
Trying to erase our history gets us no where.