Support the podcast at www.patreon.com/canadaehx You can listen to this podcast episode on all podcast platforms by searching for Canadian History Ehx
It is Movember and that means that we are talking about moustaches. What better way to talk about moustaches than to talk about the various men through Canadian history who have taken their moustache game to the next level.
There have been many great moustaches, and these are only a few of the many.
He is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame and over the course of his 16-year career he would score 500 goals and over 1,000 points. He would win the Stanley Cup, the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy and the King Clancy Memorial Trophy over the course of his career.
One thing he is known for is his large moustache that he has had for most of his life.
He had developed his moustache in 1974 in an effort to see what kind of beard he would be able to grow. At the time, the Toronto Maple Leafs did not allow players to have beards so he settled on having a moustache. He would eventually let it grow into a walrus-style after seeing the moustache of baseball player Sparky Lyle. It would eventually become a symbol for the Calgary Flames with fans wearing fake red moustaches during playoff runs. Several razor manufacturers offered him money to shave it but he never did.
Sir Robert Borden
Serving as Canada’s eighth prime minister from 1911 to 1920, helping to lead Canada through the First World War. He would be the last prime minister to be knighted, the last to be born before Confederation and the most recent person from Nova Scotia to serve as prime minister. He had a moustache for his entire adult life, and the image of him with a moustache was featured on the Canada $100 bill for four decades. He also enjoyed having moustaches around him apparently as 13 of the 22 men in his cabinet all had moustaches. He was also the second-last person to have a moustache and serve as prime minister. Louis St. Laurent would be the last in the 1950s.
One interesting fact about Borden is that the stress of the First World War caused his moustache to go white.
In his time, he was vilified by those in Eastern Canada who saw him as a traitor for leading two rebellions in the Red River area. Today, he is seen as not only the father of Manitoba, but someone who fought to preserve Métis rights and culture in their homelands as the area came under Canadian influence. Today, he is seen as a folk hero for Francophones, Catholic nationalists and First Nations activists. To date, Riel has received more attention from scholars than any other person in Canadian history.
Every picture of Riel also shows him with an excellent moustache that covered the entire top part of the lip and extended out beyond the edges of the mouth.
These days, a politician with a moustache is sort of a rare thing to see. One politician who wore his moustache proudly though was Jack Layton, who was the leader of the New Democrat Party from 2003 to 2011. In addition, he also served on Toronto City Council beginning in 1982 and serving throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s.
Layton’s moustache would eventually become an iconic symbol and mourners drew his moustache on the sidewalks around Nathan Phillips Square when he died. Following his death in 2011, his moustache would be used as a symbol of Movember in an effort to raise money for men’s health. In 2011, during a campaign stop on April Fool’s, reporters wore paper moustaches when asking him questions.
Inspired to become an astronaut after seeing the moon landing, Chris Hadfield would work his way through the Royal Canadian Air Cadets, to the Canadian Armed Forces and eventually to the Canadian Space Agency in 1992. He would eventually become the first Canadian to walk in space, and serve as commander of the International Space Station. In addition, he took part in two missions on the Space Shuttle.
In regards to his moustache, Hadfield grew his when he was 18 on a train to Turkey. He decided that he was a man and that he should have a moustache. The only time he has ever shaved it off was when he was at test pilot school.
Daniel Duncan Mckenzie
Pretty unknown now these days, McKenzie was born in 1859 and was first elected to the House of Commons in 1904. He would be re-elected in 1908, 1911, 1917 and 1921. After the death of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, he took over as the interim leader of the Liberal Party and became the Leader of the Opposition. In 1923, he resigned his seat and went back to his job as a judge.
In addition, he had an excellent nearly-walrus moustache that was similar to that of Lanny McDonald, if slightly less impressive.
Another great moustache, which comes as part of a goatee, is courtesy of David Suzuki. Suzuki, who was a professor of genetics at the University of British Columbia from 1963 to 2001, and the host of The Nature of Things since the mid-1970s, has had a moustache most of his life and it has become part of his internationally-renown image.