[From Brian McConnell] - Many members of the Orange Association in Canada were active politically and indeed prominent leaders as you will see from information on the Canada Orange Heritage Site. Most Canadians and others seem entirely unaware of this now. It is a part of Canadian history that has been foregotten and is no longer taught anywhere.
Canada's first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald, was an Orangemen as were three others, the latest being John Diefenbaker. Joseph Smallwood, the leader who led Newfoundland into Canada in 1949 was an Orangeman as was his father. Many Premiers of Ontario and Mayors of Toronto up to the early 1970s were Orange members.
The author of "The Maple Leaf Forever" , once Canada's unofficial national anthem, was an Orangeman - Alexander Muir.
The Purpose of the Canada Orange Mailing List is to encourage the exchange of information about the culture, history, and genealogy of Orange members who came to Canada and their descendants. Contemporary politics in Canada or anywhere else is banned from the list.
I hope this answers some of your questions. The Orange Association is still active in Canada and has men's and ladies lodges in all provinces. However, as with many other fraternal groups its numbers have dramatically declined in recent years. If you have any other questions please do not hesitate to ask or encourage others to view the Canada Orange Heritage Site and join the Canada Orange Mailing List.
I am the Webmaster of the Canada's Orange Roots . It is an independent site operated by myself with the assistance of information provided by volunteers interested in the heritage of Orangeism in Canada. On the Site you will find links to pages with information about the history, culture and genealogy of Orangeism in Canada.
I am also the Administrator of the Canada Orange Mailing List which is referred to on the Canada Orange Heritage Site. It is a Rootsweb List open to the public which was begun in November, 1998 and has about 225 members. Some 40% are members of the Orange Association and the remainder are descendants of Orange members who are interested in learning about their Orange roots. To join send the message "subscribe" without the quotes, leaving the subject blank, to: Can-Orange-Lfirstname.lastname@example.org