By Gord Bowes, News staff
Isaac Buchanan is greeting students at the elementary school that bears his name.
Not the actual Buchanan, builder of the Gothic-styled country home Auchmar on the west Mountain, of course.
But a portrait of the Lt. Col. the Honourable Mr. Isaac Buchanan MP Esq is now hanging in a prominent spot in the main foyer of Buchanan Park School.
“I think it belongs here,” said January Will. “It’s like it is home.”
Will’s father, the late Rev. T. Melville Bailey, was the founder of the Hamilton Mountain Heritage Society (HMHS).
He had looked after the portrait, a gift to the HMHS from the Ontario Historical Society in 2001, in the garden room at his Mountain brow home until his death in 2005.
Will, the treasurer of the HMHS, and her husband, Jim, kept an eye on it after that. The exact history of the portrait prior to the HMHS receiving the gift is not known, said Will.
Earlier this year, the HMHS started thinking about a new home for Buchanan’s portrait which would allow its public display until Auchmar is restored and it can hang in the historic home.
When the idea of Buchanan Park was brought up, “We thought, why didn’t we think of that before?” said president Lee Gowers.
“It just seems natural,” she said.
About 70 people, including were on hand when the portrait was unveiled Wednesday night at the school. Students sang the Maple Leaf Forever, with new words written by historian and Mountain News columnist Robert Williamson, and members of the Royal Hamilton Light Infantry 13th Bbattalion Ceremonial Guard honoured Buchanan, the company’s first colonel.
Buchanan Park principal Scott Lowrey said he jumped at the chance to give the portrait a home.
It now hangs in a prominent place in the foyer in a space previously occupied by a message board.
“We’ve reconnected with our heritage,” said Lowrey.