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The Right Honourable Daniel Roland Michener

Appointed: March 29, 1967
Sworn In: April 17, 1967, Senate Chamber, Ottawa
Born: April 19, 1900, Lacombe, Alberta
Died: August 6, 1991

 

 

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Although he had been a Conservative parliamentarian and a Conservative Party choice for Speaker of the House of Commons, there was little surprise when  Rt. Honourable Roland Michener became a Liberal appointee for the post of High Commissioner in India, and even less surprise when he was nominated by a Liberal government as the twentieth Governor General, the third native Canadian to occupy the position.

Appointed after the sudden death of the able and much-loved General Vanier, Michener returned from New Delhi and took office on April 7, 1867, in time to plunge into the arduous though pleasant task of welcoming the almost daily arrivals of the heads or high representatives of state making Centennial year visits to Canada.

Assisted by his wife, herself an author, musician and Doctor of Philosophy, the new Governor stepped gracefully and easily into his new role. Genial, imperturbable, full of political wisdom and world knowledge, he possessed an even, temperate understanding that carried him through the speakership in two stormy parliaments, including one in which no party had an absolute majority.

A handsome, urbane, silver haired combination of legal-businessman-politico-diplomat, Daniel Roland Michener was born on April 19, 1900 at Lacombe, Alberta , the son of a Senator. He was educated at the University of Alberta and is a Rhodes scholar from that institution. He completed his legal training at Oxford; was admitted as a barrister of the Middle Temple in 1923 and opened a practice in Toronto.

His education was interrupted briefly when in his 18th year he joined the Royal Air Force.

Michener represented a Toronto riding in the legislature from 1945 to 1948, part of which time he was provincial secretary. He was elected to the House of Commons in 1953 and again in 1957, when he was elected speaker, a post he held until the general election of 1962 when he was defeated.

He was appointed to New Delhi in 1964, and was studying Hindi at the time he was recalled to Canada. He also mastered French after several years into his parliamentary career. As Governor General he held many roles including that of Chief Scout of Canada for the Boy Scouts organization, the Chairman of the Duke of Edinburgh Awards in Canada and Commander in Chief of the armed forces. He travelled widely during his time in office and was respected and admired by all parts of the country. He was in power during the particularly difficult time of the FLQ Crisis and handled himself with great composure and control.

He left office in January of 1974 and took up the challenge of promoting fitness among Canadians for the rest of his life. He continued to work with many charities, organizations and served on the Board of Directors on several companies until his death on August 6th, 1991.

His personal motto which he lived his life by and tried to instil in others was "freedom with order" which is quite representative of Canadian society.




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