Nelson Mandela was remembered and honoured at Hamilton City Hall.
The memorial was organized by Stewart Memorial Church, which was founded in 1835 by escaped slaves and other members of Hamilton’s black community.
The service was more joyous, than sombre, as people celebrated the life of the 95 year-old former South African President, and anti-apartheid icon.
Among the speakers were Mayor Bob Bratina, local Liberal cabinet minister and MPP Ted McMeekin, minister emeritus Rev. George Horton and United Church Minister Abiel Khalema, who is from South Africa.
In an emotional moment, a painting of Mandela by local artist , 84 year-old Jim Kennelly was presented to the church.
A member of the organizing committee, Hamilton Centre for Civic Inclusion’s Evelyn Myrie, told CHML News, the service was initially to be held at the John Street North church, which holds only 200 people, but many more people wanted to attend, so the service was moved to City Hall.
Other speakers included Dr. Patrick Deane, President and Vice-Chancellor of McMaster University, Dr. Gary Warner, and MPP Ted McMeekin.