AITCHISON, Don McLean   


SYMBOLISM
OF THE ARMORIAL BEARINGS OF
Benjamin Carter THORNTON

Arms: The arms, featuring a double-headed eagle, follow the basic design of those granted to Aitchison families in Scotland, Fr. Aitchison being descended from Borders Aitchisons who settled in Ontario in the early 19th century. The two crosses held in the eagle’s claws refer to Anglicanism in general and to St. Augustine of Canterbury on whose feast day Fr. Aitchison was ordained a deacon. The saltire cross on the breast of the eagle is a general reference to Scottish ancestry and a reference to St. Andrew, Scotland’s patron on whose feast day Fr. Aitchison was ordained a priest. The green base alludes to the green chiefs of other Aitchison arms and is charged with a sun in splendour, a veiled reference to the Lord and to the illuminating qualities of education, teaching and pastoral ministry of the priesthood.

Motto: The sentence is taken from the “Morning Hymn” by Bishop Thomas Ken (1637-1711). It also makes a reference to the rooster in the crest.

Badge: The crest is based on other Aitchison crests. The rooster a fitting symbol for one called to proclaim Christ to the world and to call people into a relationship with him. It is an old Christian symbol of watchfulness or vigilance. The fleurs-de-lis are also Christian symbols of the Trinity and of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Here they are also subtle references to those found in the badge of the Township of Minto. Fr. Aitchison’s grandfather was for many years the secretary-treasurer of that municipality, hence also the feather held by the rooster.

Badge: Following the Scottish badge pattern, the crest is surrounded by a belt inscribed with the motto.

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Copyright © 2011 Royal Heraldry Society of Canada (RHSC)
Last modified: February 02, 2011