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Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick
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Part 6 - The Mace



New Brunswick's sterling silver gilt mace is the symbol of parliamentary authority. It was presented to the Legislative Assembly in 1937, the coronation year of King George VI, by the Hon. Murray MacLaren, lieutenant- governor of the province.

On top of the cushion of the crown are the royal arms. On the head of the mace are the arms of the province on one side, and the first great seal of the province on the other. The Royal cypher GVIR is on both sides. There are also sprays of purple violets, the provincial flower. On the staff are representations of the purple violet, red spruce and maple leaves to signify the connection between the province and the Dominion.

The sergeant-at-arms is responsible for the safekeeping of the mace, and the furniture and fittings of the House. The sergeant-at-arms bearing the mace, escorts the speaker and the clerks upon their entry into and withdrawal from the chamber. A desk is provided for the sergeant-at-arms on the floor and he or she is available at all times to enforce, if necessary, the orders of the speaker.

When the legislature is in session, the mace is placed upon the table. When in committee and when the speaker is not in the chair, the mace rests on brackets beneath the table. When not in session, the mace remains in the speaker's care.

Today in most Commonwealth legislatures, a mace will be found in the House. It is the symbol of the speaker's authority as a servant of the House.

The history of the development of the mace in British parliaments is both interesting and curious. In medieval times, it was a weapon of defence used in close combat, especially by ecclesiastics to whom the sword was a forbidden weapon. Later, when it came to be associated with assembled lawmakers, it served as an effective weapon for preserving order. Only gradually did it assume its present ceremonial role. The speaker's procession and the mace are the daily reminders that parliament won the battle for supremacy over arbitrary government.



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