Usher of the Black Rod of the Senate of Canada

The Usher of the Black Rod of the Senate of Canada (often shortened to Black Rod, huissier du bâton noir in French) is the most senior protocol position in the Parliament of Canada.

The office is modelled on the Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod of the House of Lords of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Black Rod leads the Speaker's Parade at the beginning of each sitting of the Senate[1] and oversees protocol, administrative and logistical details of important events taking place on Parliament Hill, such as the opening of Parliament and Speech from the Throne ceremonies.[2][3] Upon the appointment of the first woman to the position of "Gentleman Usher of the Black Rod" on October 20, 1997, the title was changed to "Usher of the Black Rod".[4]

Blair Armitage was appointed Acting Black Rod in 2013 for the third time, replacing Kevin S. MacLeod.[5]

The Usher carries an Ebony and gold staff modelled after the one used in the House of Lords in Britain. The top consists of a crown and crest bearing the words Honi soit qui mal y pense and motif for George IV of the United Kingdom.

List of Gentlemen Ushers of the Black Rod (1867–1997)

  • 1867–1875 René Kimber
  • 1875–1901 René Edouard Kimber (Son of René Kimber)
  • 1902–1904 Molyneux St. John
  • 1904–1925 Ernest John Chambers
  • 1925–1946 Andrew Ruthven Thompson
  • 1947–1970 Charles Rock Lamoureux
  • 1970–1979 A. Guy Vandelac
  • 1979–1984 Thomas Guy Bowie
  • 1984–1985 Claude G. Lajoie
  • 1985–1989 René Marc Jalbert
  • 1989–1990 Rene Gutknecht
  • 1990–20 October 1997 Jean Doré

List of Ushers of the Black Rod (1997—)

  • 20 October 1997 — 2001 Mary C. McLaren
  • 2001 — 2002 Blair Armitage, acting, first time
  • 2002 — 2008, Terrance Christopher
  • 2008 — 26 May 2008 Blair Armitage, acting, second time
  • 26 May 2008 — 2013 Kevin S. MacLeod
  • 2013 Blair Armitage, acting, third time
  • 2013 — Present J. Greg Peters


External links

  • The Canadian Parliament's information about Black Rod
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