In case you missed it, Brock University’s namesake turned 247. You’ve definitely been to Guernsey Market positioned at the center of our university, but did you know that it’s named after the birthplace of Sir Isaac Brock? Guernsey is a Channel Island of Britain and Sir Isaac Brock lived there until the early 1800s, when he was assigned to defend Canada against the United States. Each year, Brock recognizes a student who resides in Guernsey with an annual Brock Guernsey Undergraduate Scholarship.
Sir Isaac Brock is remembered as “The Hero of Upper Canada” due to his leadership and preparations. He is honoured in the name of Brock because he passed away during the Battle of Queenston Heights which occurred in the Niagara region due to an American attempt to take over Canada’s side of Niagara Falls.
Even though he passed away on October 13 1812, Sir Isaac Brock continues to be honoured, celebrated and praised.
Just before fall reading week began, a 247th birthday celebration was held in front of the iconic Sir Isaac Brock statue on Oct. 6 to commemorate and highlight the importance of the hero that our university is named after. This was the second year in a row for this event to take place at Brock.
From 12:30 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., students, staff and community members met to celebrate the life of Sir Isaac Brock. There were paper models of Sir Isaac Brock being given away, free cupcakes for attendees, the singing of ‘Happy Birthday’, photo opportunities, a dance performance by Brock Dance and speeches from various leaders on campus.
“If not for Brock’s strong leadership and sacrifice, our country would not exist as it does today, having defeated American manifest destiny, a strong and distinct nation in its own right,” said Conservative MP Peter Van Loan during a meeting in the House of Commons in Ottawa, on the day of Sir Isaac Brock’s birth date.
There were hundreds of people present to remember Sir Isaac Brock. The event further serves as a way to raise school spirit and togetherness. Along with the birthday celebration, the day was also deemed ‘Red Day’ encouraging students and staff to wear the colour red to honour Sir Isaac Brock and the day of his birth.
Sir Isaac Brock reportedly said “Surgite!” to his fellow soldiers the day of his passing which means “push on” in Latin and became the official Brock motto.
There’s no doubt that the memory and life of Sir Isaac Brock encourages students to be leaders in their communities and that “Surgite” is a great motivational quote to look up to.
With a yearly birthday celebration to honour Sir Isaac Brock, students are given a chance to closely interact with the historical significance of their own university.
“As a Brock student I take a lot of pride in being involved in the Brock community and Isaac Brock’s birthday bash gave me another opportunity to connect with my university,” said Leandro Barreca, a teacher candidate at Brock.