Know Your Mace – The House of Commons

Article 15 / 15 , Vol 41 No. 4 (Winter)

Know Your Mace – The House of Commons

The House of Commons cannot convene without its Mace. On February 3, 1916, when fire ravaged the Parliament Building, the original Mace was lost. In the immediate aftermath of the fire, the House used the Mace belonging to the Senate and then that of the Ontario Legislature until a temporary wooden Mace was fashioned. The Lord Mayor and Sheriffs of London, upon hearing of its destruction, commissioned a replacement. A new Mace was crafted by the renowned Goldsmiths and Silversmiths Company Ltd. of London. It is similar in design to the House of Commons Mace at Westminster and is made of sterling silver with an amalgam of gold and mercury. As the Mace was commissioned during the reign of George V, the Royal cypher GR was placed around the vase-shaped head. This cypher was altered in 1953 and replaced with ER for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The new Mace was presented to Prime Minister Robert L. Borden on March 28, 1917, and first used in the House on May 16, 1917. The wooden Mace was kept and since 1977 is used when the House sits on February 3 to commemorate the anniversary of the fire.

Kerry Barrow

Curatorial Services, House of Commons