My Great- (+ several more Greats) Uncle

As I flipped through my father’s stamp collection a few weeks ago, I uncovered a paper with some “family lore”. My father’s mother was named Dorothy Mowat (little did I know…) – I just called her “Granny”… I remember Granny telling me when I was about 12 years old that her family settled from Scotland in Kingston, Ontario (south of Ottawa on Lake Ontario) in the early 1800’s – in 1814, it turns out – read on to see how I know that.

Mowat – MOWAT – where have I run across that name?  Ah-ha, my Canadian History – Sir Oliver Mowat – one of the fathers of the Canadian confederation! A relative? Yes, it turns out. And then another flicker of memory from my brain – a little digging in my own stamp collection found a stamp commemorating him. Here is a nice scan from Canada’s Postal Archive Database:

Canadian Postal Archives Database – Sir Oliver Mowat, Scotts 517 (Canada, 1970)

Well, this is quite interesting. Mowat was:

  • born on 22 July, 1820 and died on 19 April, 1903;
  • a clerk for Canada’s first Prime Minister John Macdonald;
  • Ontario’s Postmaster General from 1863 to 1864;
  • a delegate to the historic Quebec Conference in October 1864;
  • a Vice-Chancellor of Upper Canada from 1864 to 1872;
  • the Premier of Ontario from 1872 to 1896;
  • knighted Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (CMG);
  • and awarded the Grand Cross of that Order on 22 June, 1897.

What do you know… I think that my brother has the Grand Cross medal in a display case from my father’s office – and now we know why my father had it.

There is a story behind every postage stamp, and this is the story of Scotts 517, Canada, 1970! And of my great-great-(not sure how many greats) Uncle Oliver.

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One Response to “My Great- (+ several more Greats) Uncle”

  1. mikesoper Says:

    Great Uncle ! And a postmaster !

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