The Liberal Senate Forum

Connect

facebook Ideas Forum youtube flickr

Meet Senator

Maria Chaput

The Hon. Maria  Chaput Consultant, manager, assistant director, executive director, author and volunteer are some of the roles and responsibilities occupied by Senator Maria Chaput in the course of her career. Appointed December 12, 2002, she is the first Franco-Manitoban woman to sit in the Senate.

Statements & Hansard

Black History Month—Congratulations on Induction of Mr. Graham Downey to Rev. Dr. W.P. Oliver Wall of Honour

More on...

Share

Feedback

Read the comments left on this page or add yours.
Statement made on 28 February 2012 by Senator Terry Mercer

Hon. Terry M. Mercer:

Honourable senators, February is Black History Month, the time of year when we explore the history and contributions that African Canadians have made to Canada and to our society.

In Nova Scotia, we celebrate this as African Heritage Month.

Each year, the Black Cultural Society of Nova Scotia recognizes someone who has made exceptional contributions to the community. The Reverend Dr. W.P. Oliver Wall of Honour is in memory of Reverend Dr. William Oliver, who has been described as "Nova Scotia's passionate defender of equality." The name should sound familiar; you may not know it, but Senator Oliver is Dr. William Oliver's half-brother.

This past February 11, the Reverend Dr. W. P. Oliver Wall of Honour was awarded to one Graham Downey. A long-time friend and colleague, Graham was the first Black city alderman in the history of Halifax, a position he was elected to for over 25 years. He also served as deputy mayor.

Indeed, his grandson, Jerome Downey, even ran for Halifax Regional Municipal Council in 2008, the youngest candidate in that election at 23.

You can see that politics and community service run deep in the Downey family. A staunch defender of his community, municipal leadership is not the only thing Graham is known for. He and his brother Billy owned the famous Arrow's Club in Halifax.

Billy was the recipient of the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award from the African Nova Scotian Music Association. Music and culture also run deep in this family.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Arrow's Club was the place to be. It was the place where Black Haligonians could gather to celebrate their culture in a city where, as in so many others, segregation still existed to a certain extent. Honourable senators, the Arrow's Club hosted such acts as Teddy Pendergrass, Ben E. King, and Ike and Tina Turner, but also local musicians such as Gordon and Harold Johnston, and Linda Carvery. I have spent a few hours in the Arrow's Club over the years with many of my friends in the African Nova Scotian community, and the Downeys made the place happen. They created a whole atmosphere of entrepreneurship in the entertainment business for people in their community.

Honourable senators, please join me in congratulating Graham Downey for the honour that he has received from the Black Cultural Society of Nova Scotia. We also add our gratitude to Graham for his outstanding contribution to the African-Canadian community, the City of Halifax, and all Nova Scotians. Our sincere congratulations.

Recent Statements from Liberal Senators

First Nations Control of First Nations Education Bill

10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator Lillian Eva Dyck | Honourable senators, I would like to say a few words about this motion. I am definitely in support of it. The idea of a First Nations education act is critically important to the welfare of First Nations across Canada, and especially to our young people.

Income Inequality

10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator Céline Hervieux-Payette | What does the government intend to do to learn from the financial crisis, reduce wealth inequality, and follow the lead of other jurisdictions that have started to rein in compensation that has nothing to do with the productivity of the people who earn the average salary of a Canadian in half a day?

Broadcast of Senate Proceedings

10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator Grant Mitchelll | What is the leader's personal opinion about televising the Senate?

National Pharmacare

10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator Art Eggleton | That was supported unanimously in the Senate, so I take it, senator, that you would be willing to now advance this idea to the government.

National Pharmacare

10 Apr, 2014 | By Senator James Cowan | My question is: Will this government put National Pharmacare on the agenda?
« 1 2 3 4 5  ... » 
Recycle

You can retrieve this page at:
http://www.liberalsenate.ca/In-The-Senate/Statement/15391_Black-History-MonthCongratulations-on-Induction-of-Mr-Graham-Downey-to-Rev-Dr-WP-Oliver-Wall-of-Honour.
Please recycle this document.