On February 8, 2014, the Canadian Chapter Chair, Dr. Teresa Tomory, and Marnee Stern, a Chapter Board member, met with the Honourable Noel Kinsella, Speaker of the Senate of Canada. This auspicious meeting took place in the Senate Speaker’s Chambers, in a beautiful historic room filled with heraldry and Latin inscriptions. The purpose of the meeting was to share information about the recently formed Canada-Holy See Parliamentary Group and the Patrons of the Arts in the Vatican Museums and to explore collaboration in a suitable restoration project to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Canada’s Confederation coming up in 2017. In addition to Speaker Kinsella, representatives for the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Honourable Andrew Scheer, the Chair of the Canada-Holy See Parliamentary Friendship Group, Mr. Pierre Lemieux, and the Vice–Chair of the Group, Senator Suzanne Fortin-Duplessis attended the meeting. The Canadian Chapter looks forward to a fruitful partnership with this group. To have a little more understanding of Canadian history we include some details of the Senate Speaker’s Chambers for your reading pleasure.
The Speaker’s chambers have long served as a stately setting for conducting parliamentary business. They echo the deliberations of men and women who served as guiding forces throughout a century and a half of Canada’s history. At the same time, they are warm and inviting. This warmth comes in part from the various woods found throughout the chambers and the deep carvings1. Among the many points of interest in these quarters are the heraldic emblems that adorn the walls and provide accent for the historical furnishings. There is a fascinating tale to be told about these armorial bearings, the art form from which they have evolved, and the unique language created to describe them.