News of the death of Lieutenant Governor Lincoln Alexander brings back memories for Mike and for me. I met him once in the late 1980s, and I knew I was in the presence of greatness. He was visiting the church I attended, St. Mary Magdalene’s Anglican in Toronto, and he joined us afterwards for coffee hour in the basement. The old, unfinished, unattractive basement, where we nonetheless socialized and had some good times.
Alexander was standing by himself against the wall, tall, slim, elegant, handsome and totally intimidating. No one dared approach him. But this was church, where we were told that everyone is the same in the eyes of God, and he was a visitor, and alone. That didn’t seem right. So I swallowed, took a breath and approached him.
I don’t remember what I said, probably thanking him for coming, and that it was an honour to meet him. And I don’t remember what he said in reply, but he immediately started an easy conversation that I could take part in, and that drew others to him. And that is how I knew that he was a great man. He was able to put everyone at ease and make it effortless to engage with him.
Mike met him a few times in recent years, at the annual Warriors’ Day Parade at the CNE grounds, and Mike says that Alexander remembered him from meeting him the time before. That is a trait that good politicians have, to be able to remember people, to focus on one individual at a time and make that person feel good about the meeting. Another sign of greatness.
Here are a few more photos of Lincoln Alexander that Mike took at the Warriors’ Day Parade lunch in 2010.
Do you have memories of Lincoln Alexander?