Hazard mayor honors ancestor during ceremony in Canada
by BAILEY RICHARDS Staff Reporter
Hazard Mayor Nan Gorman recently helped honor an influential relative during a ceremony in the City of Saint John in New Brunswick, Canada.
Mayor Gormans great-great grandfather, Lauchlan Donaldson, was also a mayor. He served two terms as head of the City of Saint John and was a Scottish native who immigrated to Canada for freedom.
He came from Edinburgh (Scotland), he came to Saint John, Canada, said Gorman. He was there in the early years and helped with the city and many things.
Donaldson was appointed as mayor from 1829 to 1833 and again from 1843 to 1847. He was also appointed to the position of head of the Board of Trade for three terms and was the first person to introduce a municipal water supply to the city, according to information published in the Telegraph-Journal, a newspaper in Saint John.
Donaldson was also the president of the Saint Andrews Society, a group of people with Scottish ancestry that formed to help those immigrating from Scotland. The group formed in Saint John in 1798. Donaldson left one-eighth of his estate to the Saint Andrews Society when he passed away in 1873, which in todays money would total nearly $100,000.
Donaldson was laid to rest next to his wife in Fernhill Cemetery in Saint John. It was in the 1950s that a tree fell in the cemetery, damaging his headstone. His grave sat with out a stone for 60 years.
While on a trip to Saint John to see where her family had immigrated, Mayor Gorman and her husband, the late Hazard Mayor Bill Gorman, traveled to see the grave and found that it was no longer there.
I had a picture of it from other relatives, and when my husband and I went a few years ago we realized it was gone, the Mayor said. It just sort of irked me that he didnt have a stone by his wife.
In June 2010 Gorman wrote a letter to Ivan Court, the mayor of Saint John. Court then contacted the Saint Andrews Society that helped Mayor Gorman in replacing the stone.
She paid for the stone and the Saint Andrews Society looked after the arrangements of having the stone set as well as planning a dedication ceremony which included bagpipes and an unveiling. Gorman attended the ceremony held on July 21.
We went up on Tuesday and came back on Sunday, she said.
Gorman said she is proud to be Lauchlan Donaldsons great-great granddaughter, and she simply wanted to replace the stone to show just how much he had influenced her and the city of Saint John.
I think its nice to have your name on a stone, but thats not what you leave. You leave the influence and he left a lot of influence, Mayor Gorman said in an interview with the Telegraph Journal.
Dozens of people turned out to the dedication, many in traditional kilts. After the ceremony, Mayor Gorman did several interviews with TV stations and newspapers. A reception was also held at the Mayors office for the society members along with Gorman and her family.
It was just an elegant room and elegant thing, she described.
Mayor Gorman traveled with her daughter, Meriwether Hall, and her grandson Hagan Hall. Hagan was made honorary mayor for the day and was even given the Mayoral Chain, a golden chain with the names of all of the towns former mayors engraved on it. It is worn around the neck for official ceremonies. Hagans great-great-great-great grandfathers name was on the chain twice.
While the Mayor was in New Brunswick, she also attended the Highland Games in Fredericton. The Highland Games showcase traditional Scottish sports and events like river dance.
The Mayor and her family also attended a reception at the Lieutenant Governors mansion for all of the different Saint Andrews Societies throughout New Brunswick.
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