Monday, August 22, 2011

Jack Layton (1950 -2011)

[We lost a great Canadian today. This article was posted prior to Jack Layton's stunning electoral victory in the 2011 federal election. It was a brief review of the dedication to public service which is a legacy of the Layton family. I thought it might be appropriate to post it again...Thank you Jack!]

2008 Guide Dogs and Montreal Association for the Blind

Canada Post issued a commemorative Guide Dog stamp on April 21, 2008, as well as a commemorative envelope celebrating the centenary of the Montreal Association for the Blind ("MAB") founded by NDP leader Jack Layton's great grandfather Philip Layton.

1. Guide Dogs

The Guide Dog stamp features "Luke" who was in training at the Lions Club of Canada facility in Oakville when this photo was taken. The 52 cent denomination of the stamp was embossed in Braille.

Lions Club Dog Guides

The Lions Club was celebrating the 25th year of its guide dog program.

Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind

The Canadian Guide Dogs for the Blind was founded in 1984 by Jane Thornton.

Autographed by Jane Thornton


VoicePrint is a national reading service that broadcasts news and information to Canadians who cannot independently access newspapers and magazines. VoicePrint picture stamps printed by Canada Post have been sold by the organization to raise funds.

2. Montreal Association for the Blind

A commemorative envelope was to commemorate the MAB's 100 years was issued on April 21, 2008, as well. The envelope featured the Braille inscription for "Montreal Association for the Blind". The Guide Dog stamp was affixed to the commemorative envelope and received an April 21, 2008 Montreal cancellation.

The commemorative envelope below was autographed by Thomas Davis, President of the MAB-Mackey Rehabilitation Centre.

The back of the envelope features a photograph of MAB founder Philip E. Layton and a brief description of the founding of the MAB.

"When Philip E. Layton arrived in Montreal from England in 1887, there were not services for English-speaking children with vision loss in Quebec, and none of any kind existed to meet the needs of Canada's adult population. In 1908, after years of hard work and dedication, Mr. Layton founded the Montreal Association for the Blind (MAB) to educate and offer rehabilitation to the blind and visually impaired. Today, the MAB is the oldest rehabilitation centre of its kind in Canada serving people with vision loss."

The Laytons
Philip Layton's descendants have dedicated themselves to political service.

Son : Gilbert Layton

Gilbert Layton (1899-1961), Philip's son, was a businessman and politician in Quebec. Gilbert Layton was elected to Quebec's legislative assembly in 1936 as a member of the Union Nationale. He served as minister without portfolio in the Maurice Duplessis government until he resigned in 1939 to protest the Quebec government's opposition to conscription in World War II.

Grandson : Bob Layton

Robert "Bob" Layton (1925 – 2002), Gilbert Layton's son, was elected to the Federal Parliament in the 1984 election as the Progressive Conservative member for the Quebec riding of Lachine. He was elected in the general elections of 1984 and 1988, and served as Minister of States for Mines in the federal cabinet of Brian Mulroney from 1984 to 1986.

Great grandson : Jack Layton

Jack Layton

Philip Layton's great grandson, Jack Layton was national leader of the New Democratic Party and Leader of the Opposition. Jack Layton (1950-2011) dedicated himself to public service throughout his life. He served on Toronto City Council, also serving at times during that period as acting mayor and deputy mayor of Toronto. He became federal NDP leader in 2003 and Leader of the Opposition in 2011, months before his death.

Autographed by Jack Layton

Great great grandson : Mike Layton

Mike Layton, son of Jack Layton, was elected to Toronto City Council in the 2010 city council election. Layton had worked for Environmental Defence a national environmental charity that fights to protect the environment and human health and reduce Canada’s contributions to climate change.