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Know your Mace
Andrea Signorelli

Manitoba’s original Mace was carved out of the hub of a Red River cart wheel by a soldier with the Wolseley Expedition Force (sent out to deal with the Riel Rebellion in 1869). This Mace was used for a period of 13 years between March 15, 1871 and March 12, 1884.

In December 1873, when a fire destroyed the first home of the Legislature, the Mace was the only object to survive the flames. It remains on display in the Speaker’s office to this day.

Manitoba’s current gold-plated Mace debuted in 1884. Standing five feet tall and weighing 28 pounds, it repeats themes found on the original Mace. The head of the current Mace displays four emblems: the Rose, the Thistle, the Harp, and the Fleur-de-lis. These same emblems are found engraved on the staff of the Mace, with the exception of an Irish Shamrock replacing the Harp. On the top, a crown symbolizes the Monarch, while four beavers represent the province’s place as part of Canada. Finally, an orb and a cross represent the spiritual and religious aspects of Manitoba life.

This Mace was made to celebrate the opening of the second Legislative building. The initials V.R., representing the reigning Monarch Queen Victoria, are engraved on its head.

The Table Officers have a tradition of rubbing various symbols on the Mace with their robe sleeves while waiting for the Speaker’s Parade to start, in order to summon good luck for the sitting day.

Andrea Signorelli
Clerk Assistant / Clerk of Committees, Legislative Assembly of Manitoba

Canadian Parliamentary Review Cover
Vol 39 no 3

Last Updated: 2020-09-14