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Pagan ceremony a first at Hamilton council

By Kevin Werner, News Staff

 In what could be the first time in Ontario municipal history, a Pagan ritual was conducted at Hamilton’s council meeting.

The Rev. Drew Maddison, an ordained Wiccan priest from the Corellian Nativist Tradition provided the prayer prior to council’s April 23 meeting. Maddison said later the city agreed to have the Pagan ceremony after the group asked city officials if they could participate in the ceremony.

“We knew the city was open to other diverse (faiths),” said Maddison, who had a group of supporters in the gallery. “I congratulate the city for allowing us to take part.”

Madden said he believes this is the first time a Pagan ceremony has been performed not only at Hamilton council, but also the first one allowed in any provincial municipality.

Hamilton council has had a religious representative from various denominations deliver a homily, prayer, or invocation to open the meeting since the post-amalgamation era began in 2001.

Maddison is originally fromSpringhill,Nova Scotia, and arrived inHamiltonin 2009. He is a former naval officer of the Royal Canadian Navy, and has degrees in history, science and adult education. He is currently pursuing a masters of divinity degree.

Maddison is also the coordinator for the 13th annual Pagan Pride Day scheduled to be held in Gore Park Sept. 14.

Paganism is a catchall term for “a variety of loosely associated religious paths,” states an information document. Wicca is the largest contemporary Pagan tradition. Other traditions include Heathenry, Druidry, feminist Goddess worship, and non-Wiccan forms of religious witchcraft.

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