Father Of Standard Time Sir Sandford Fleming

February 8, 2012 by staff 

Father Of Standard Time Sir Sandford Fleming, Sir Sandford Fleming Park, on the North West Arm in Halifax, Nova Scotia, commemorates a notable Canadian.

Fleming was born on July 7, 1827, probably in Kirkaldy, Fife (Scotland), and emigrated to Quebec on the ship “Brilliant,” leaving Glasgow, Scotland, on April 24, 1845, at age 17 years. He settled, for a time, in Montreal and Ottawa.

He came to Canada as a surveyor, and later became one of the foremost railway engineers of his time. He was in charge of the initial survey for the Canadian Pacific Railway, the first Canadian railway to span the continent.

Fleming also designed the first Canadian postage stamp. Issued in 1851, it cost three pennies and depicted the beaver, now the national animal of Canada.

Fleming’s contribution to the adoption of the present system of time zones earned him the title of “Father of Standard Time.”

Sir Sandford lived in Halifax in the 1880′s when he was engineer- in-chief for construction of the Intercolonial Railway between the Maritimes and Quebec. He established a summer retreat, known as the Dingle, on the western side of Halifax’s North West Arm. The house and stable still stand by the driveway to the park.

Fleming took an active part in the intellectual and scientific life of Canada, throughout his long career and received many honours. He was knighted in 1897 on the occasion of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. He died in Halifax in 1915.

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of the establishment of representative government in Nova Scotia in 1758, Fleming offered 95 acres of land at the Dingle as a park for the people of Halifax. An ardent imperialist, he proposed construction of a tower within the park to serve as a memorial to the development of parliamentary institutions in the British Empire, now the Commonwealth.

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