TORONTO, Oct. 19, 2012 /CNW/ - I am profoundly saddened to learn of the death of The Honourable Lincoln MacCauley Alexander, 24th Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. Lincoln Alexander, known to all and sundry as "Linc," was a living legend in his hometown of Hamilton.
The people of West Hamilton sent him to Ottawa four times to serve as their Member of Parliament, until he resigned his seat in 1980 to serve as chairman of the Workman's Compensation Board, as the WSIB was then known.
In 2006, the people of Hamilton deemed him the Greatest Hamiltonian of All Time. But Lincoln Alexander did not belong exclusively to Hamilton. He was a Canadian icon, recognized far and wide as a man who made a unique contribution to Canada and to Ontario.
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.
Lincoln Alexander's life and career were a series of groundbreaking 'firsts'. He was a partner in the first interracial law firm in Canada; the first member of the black community to become a Member of Parliament; the first person of colour to be appointed to the Cabinet; and the first black Lieutenant Governor of Ontario.
He was also the longest-serving Chancellor of the University of Guelph, where he served an unprecedented five terms, a record among Canadian universities. In 2007, he was named chancellor emeritus in recognition of his years of service to the University.
Lincoln Alexander's whole life was a rebuke to those who would equate ability with skin colour. He overcame poverty and prejudice to scale the professional and political heights. Until the day he died, he continued to advocate on a range of topics, from education to anti-racism, and—having served in the RCAF during World War II—on veterans' issues.
I send my deepest condolences to Lincoln's wife Marni, his son Keith, daughter-in-law Joyce, and granddaughters Erika and Marissa. You are in my prayers and thoughts.
We shall not see his like again. May he rest in peace.
SOURCE: Office of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
For further information:
Mr. Anthony Hylton
Office of the Lieutenant Governor