Mr. Speaker, one of my constituents, Mildred McKim of Old Barns, sent me a very old, faded copy of the March 31, 1916 Calgary News-Telegram.
The Telegram tells the story of her great grand-uncle Mr. T.P. Lowther who, three decades earlier, lived on a farm near Fenwick, Cumberland County, Nova Scotia where he had a grove of spectacular maple trees.
In 1886, Mr. Lowther was told that Canada was considering the maple leaf as our national symbol, so he picked and pressed a dozen leaves to send to the Government of Canada. Using these leaves as specimens, the government decided that the maple leaf would indeed become the symbol of our nation.
The Calgary News-Telegram story, 99 years ago this month, focused on the fact that the maple leaf was reproduced in bronze and was now being worn on the collar of soldiers fighting in Flanders.
As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our flag, thanks to Mrs. McKim we now know the role that a dozen maple leaves from Cumberland County, Nova Scotia played in the choosing of our national symbol.