Know Your Mace – Senate (The Black Rod)

Article 9 / 9 , Vol 41 No. 3 (Autumn)

Know Your Mace – Senate (The Black Rod)

The Black Rod that is currently in use in the Senate of Canada is not the original Black Rod that was used at the time of Confederation. The first Black Rod of the Senate of Canada was lost in the fire that destroyed the original Parliament building in 1916. The new Black Rod was designed by Garrard & Co. Ltd and presented to Canada in 1918 on the occasion of a meeting in London of the Empire Parliamentary Association in the House of Lords Library.

The Black Rod is a century-old object that has suffered some damage throughout its years of use in the Senate of Canada. The most important such damage was caused in March of 1967 when the Black Rod fell to the floor, breaking the ebony staff. It was replaced with a new staff made of Brazilian rosewood.

In 2016, the Black Rod was restored at Windsor Castle and returned to its original ebony. The restored Black Rod of the Senate of Canada was then blessed on the altar of the Edward IV Chantry in St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle by The Right Reverend David Conner, K.C.V.O., Dean of Windsor, on October 15, 2016. On October 16, 2016, it was officially bestowed unto Canada by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, in the presence of the Honourable George J. Furey, Speaker of the Senate, and J. Greg Peters, M.V.O., Usher of the Black Rod, at Windsor Castle.