Last modified: 2004-10-30 by
Keywords: monarchist league of canada | maple leaf (13) | crown |
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by Jaume Ollé
By Petition to the Chief Herald of Canada on March 31, 1998, the Monarchist League of Canada expressed its desire to bear Lawful Arms granted through the Authority. On June 3, 1998, Robert Watt, the Chief Herald, informed the League as follows: The Deputy Herald Chancellor has issued a Warrant authorizing me to grant arms, crest, motto, supporters, a flag and a badge to the Monarchist League of Canada."
The Dominion Chairman of the League subsequently requested a number of members of the League expert in Heraldry to develop ideas for the design of the Arms which might be presented in his discussions with the Chief Herald. This initiative produced a number of useful suggestions. He also invited all League members to consider an appropriate motto: many mottos were submitted in an informal competition, that chosen being the original idea of Garry Toffoli, "Loyalty Binds Us." The Heraldic Authority's expert then rendered this in Latin as "Fidelitate Coniuncti."
The use of the two Royal Crowns was approved personally by Her Majesty the Queen on the recommendation of the Governor General of Canada. The original Rendering on which Her Majesty signed "Approved Elizabeth R" remains in the Heraldic Authority Archives, but a copy is available for inspection by League members. Permission to include the Crowns, an act of grace by the Sovereign, draws attention to the League's particular mission, and recalls the fact that the Sovereignty of Canada is vested in the Crown. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first Grant of Arms wherein the Royal Crown has been approved for a body other than an instrumentality of government or an organization enjoying Royal Patronage. It is also the first time in Canadian Heraldry that Royal Crowns in two different colours have been included in a Patent.
The Crown and Maple Leaves on the Shield represent both the purpose of the League and the entwining of Canada's eleven governments possessing sovereign power with the Monarchy. The Maple Leaf has been a Canadian symbol since it was proclaimed by His Late Majesty King George V in 1921.
The Supporters of Moose and Grizzly are distinctive Canadian animals. They depict, respectively, an ubiquitous and well-loved denizen of the forests and woodlands whose range spreads across Canada, and a fierce beast who defends his territory against all comers. They thus form an appropriate pairing for the League's Arms, for they represent both the reach of its work throughout the Dominion as well as its vigilant, occasionally aggressive, task of explaining and defending the role of the Canadian Crown.
The Beaver on the Crest of the Arms is an official Canadian symbol, so designated by the rare passage of a Private Member's Bill introduced to the House of Commons by the late Sean O'Sullivan, MP, who was a close friend and associate of the Dominion Chairman at the time of the League's founding in 1970. Diligent and also territorial, the Beaver gentles a shield of the Royal Crown in his paws, symbolizing the League's affection for the Monarchy coupled with its duty to serve and protect the institution. The silver and red of the shield reflect the national colours, also proclaimed in 1921 by King George V.
Maple saplings and seeds form the Compartment at the base of the Arms, referencing the Maple Kingdom of Canada and the rich soil of dedication and toil from which the League sprung into existence and by which its corporate life continues to be nourished and renewed.
The Motto, "Fidelitate Coniuncti," stems from a suggestion by a long-time League member and Officer, Garry Toffoli of Toronto, that "Loyalty Binds Us" would appropriately reflect both the work and fellowship of the League and the origins of Canadian Unity under the Crown. To avoid the cumbersome design feature if the Motto were to appear in both Official Languages, it was rendered into Latin, the universal tongue of the Western Civilization which provided two of Canada's European Founding Peoples, and a traditional language for Mottoes, by Dr Ian McDonald of the University of Toronto, Scarborough Campus, Consultant to the Canadian Heraldic Authority.
The flag contains a banner of the Shield of the Arms, as is traditional.
The badge, which provides an additional, alternative and less formal means of identifying the League, incorporates the Crest of the Arms encircled by a riband bearing the Motto, again as is traditional.
The Grant of Arms was designed by Robert Watt, Chief Herald of Canada. Mr. Watt's work was influenced by the many helpful suggestions of League members from across Canada, particularly the distinguished Canadian Heraldists Colonel Strome Galloway (co-founder of the League), and Messrs. Darrel Kennedy, UE, Rean Meyer, UE, John Wilkes and Bruce Patterson. Many members of the League took part in a competition to select an appropriate Motto. The Rendering for the signification of Her Majesty's pleasure and the painting of the Arms on the Armorial Bearings of the Letters Patent were undertaken by Gordon Macpherson, a leading Heraldic Artist, appointed Niagara Herald Extraordinary in 1999. The additional painting on the Letters Patent which confirm the Grant of Arms was done by Ms Deborah MacGarvie, and the calligraphy on the Bearings was lettered by Suzzann Wright.
The Arms were proclaimed by The Niagara Herald Extraordinary, R. Gordon Macpherson, and presented to the League by The Hon. Hilary M. Weston, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, acting on behalf of Her Excellency, The Governor General of Canada, at a ceremony in the course of a Choral Evensong of Thanksgiving for the 48th Anniversary of Her Majesty’s Reign that was attended by over 600 League members and friends at The Cathedral Church of Saint James, Toronto, on Accession Day, Sunday, February 6, 2000. The Patent was subsequently dedicated by The Very Reverend Douglas Stoute, Dean of Toronto and Rector of the Cathedral.
Monarchist League of Canada
The League is an organisation of Canadians formed in 1970 whose object is to support the Constitutional Monarchy. Over 20 branches exist across Canada, many under the patronage of Lieutenant-Governors, with membership drawn from citizens of every ethnic background, various political affiliations and many occupations. In the 1960s Canadians (English- and French-speaking) wished to assert their distinctiveness. The most extreme of such nationalists, forgetting the history and principles underlying their country, repudiated the Monarchy in their attempt to produce a new Canada. They achieved quick prominence and began to impose their views. Their attack on the symbols and substance of the Crown produced a spontaneous public reaction in its defense. Out of this was born the Monarchist League of Canada, It was soon evident that the great majority of Canadians did not wish to lose the Monarchy. However, they needed a strong, forward-looking organisation, proud of Canada’s traditions, to make this clear to republican-minded bureaucrats and transient politicians, and to assist loyal civil servants and political leaders in positive measures to strengthen the Monarchy.
Monarchist League of Canada