Hon. Members will notice at once today that the mace in use is not the one ordinarily resting upon the table. The reason is that we are resuming a tradition which goes back to the time of the fire in this House 68 years ago today. The mace now on the table was crafted after the fire of 1916 so that Parliament could continue to sit, the mace as well as the Chamber having been destroyed in the fire 68 years ago today. This mace was crafted so that the Parliament of Canada could sit elsewhere while this Chamber was being restored. That took some four years.
During the tenure of Mr. Speaker Mitchener in particular, the mace was used on the anniversary of that fire. We have continued to observe that practice as a memory of what took place on that occasion in 1916.