Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Wandering around beautiful St. John's Newfoundland

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I was 11 years old in 1967 during Canada's Centennial.  Although I was an immigrant and had lived here for 9 years, I always felt this was my home.  We were all born in Britain.  Other than the odd Italian that we used to curse at through our elementary school fences everyone we knew was British.

100 years old, who would have thought.  I belted out CA - NA - DA and ON-TAR-RI-AR-O as loud as the next person.  Multi-culturalism - had no idea what that was.  I cursed the French along with my English mother, and then slowly the country began to change.  (btw we cursed everyone especially during soccer games, hockey was still a strange sport).  I didn't even meet my first black person until I was in high school.  This was all taking place in lower Etobicoke.  Friends started to comment on how my dad had such a strong accent - "my dad!!!" - you're kidding me.  I was shocked when I met my future husband and realized he was born in Canada - and so were his parents - like WOW.  

Now I am a wee bit Older, Wiser and more Mature (well at least 1 of those is true) and here we are celebrating Canada's 150th, and I am so proud of the way this young country has grown.

4 years ago Jim and I started discovering different areas of the Maritimes.  To celebrate Canada's 150th we headed to Newfoundland, the last province to enter confederation and so far my favourite.  Our last day there was spent just wandering around St. John's, the prettiest, friendliest little/big town you will ever visit.

As I wandered around I came across the Terry Fox Memorial Garden.  In 1980, along with millions of people around the world, we watched this ordinary young man face a challenge that turned him into an extrordinary human being and inspired so many of us.  He moved so many people in so many ways and he will always for me be the meaning of the Canadian Spirit.
"I just wish people would realize that anything is possible if you try, dreams are made if people try". 
 This is the quote on his memorial and Canadians have shown time and time again, how true this is.  On a personal note, he inspired me to quit smoking and I thank him for that every day.

I love this quote too:  "His run continues always in our naton's soul".

Thank you Terry and the 1000's of volunteers who keep his spirit alive.

Here are some final pics of St John's and their amazing colourful landscape.

As July 1st approachs, I am feeling very blessed.  The world is a changing place and so far Canada has remained a peaceful oasis, I hope that never changes.  My parents brought us up to be free thinkers, religion was never forced on us, it was just there.  We happily argued politics and religion until the wee hours of the mornings.  As Canada starts to hit a few growing pains I wish the following for our fellow Canadians.  "Remember that immigrants from all over the world have helped to grow this country and build it into what it is today.  May our children, especially our daughters and grand daughters always feel safe as they grow into adulthood.  May we always be able to express an opinion without fear.  May our opinions be without prejudice.  May we respect each other."  O Canada - strong and free I thank you.

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