Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy Birthday, My Canada!

First, a little background: Canada Day is the national day of Canada, a federal statutory holiday celebrating the anniversary of the July 1, 1867, enactment of the British North America Act, 1867 (today called the Constitution Act, 1867), which united three colonies into a single country called Canada within the British Empire. Originally called Dominion Day , the holiday was renamed in 1982, the year the Canada Act was passed. Canada Day observances take place throughout Canada as well as among Canadians internationally.
Now, on with my story . . .

Saturday, July 1, 1967.
My Grade seven teacher had been harping on endlessly about this important date.
Something about it being Canada’s Centennial.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Canada.
And had celebrated her July 1 birthday with great enthusiasm for each of my 12 years.
I just didn’t see what made this particular birthday so important. Centennial? What did that mean?
Okay, maybe I was just a bit stuck inside my own world . . .
But I was more than willing to go to choir practice to perfect our renditions of ‘Oh Canada!’ and ‘God Save the Queen’.
And excitedly discuss the day’s planned activities with my friends.
And anticipate a holiday.
The day dawned, clear and bright.
And my family wandered over to the newly-erected ‘cairn’ down by the Milk River.
Flags were flying. Eight of them, to denote the eight flags under which our town had lived.
And grinning, happy people were beginning to gather.
Lots of people.
I excitedly greeted my friends as they arrived.
Finally came the time for us to assemble on some risers set up near the cairn.
There was clapping and excitement.
We sang. 
To further applause.
And not a few tears.
And then, the speeches.
And, suddenly, I realized what it was that everyone was emotional about.
My country, this country that I loved, was 100 years old.
100.
Wow.
That was significant.
And I was a part of it.
It was 48 years ago.
Today, my country is 148 years old.
Happy Birthday, my beloved Canada!

To my beloved readers and blog-followers and friends: I will be away from the computer for the next two weeks. Heading to the wilds of Canada for a much-needed break. I will desperately miss you, but will be back soon! I love you all!

10 comments:

  1. Have a good break, Diane, and Happy Canada Day to you, too :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Have a great vacation! We can't wait to hear all about it when you get back. I'm heading out next week myself so I'll see you when I see you! Be careful and have FUN!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Enjoy your vacation and watch out for them thar 'bars' in the woods. Actually, you are more likely to be carried away by mosquitoes and eaten alive by black flies

    ReplyDelete
  4. Happy Canada Day - and happy holiday too.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Happy Canada Day; loved learning about it. Have a great vacation and enjoy all the precious moments.
    Hugs~

    ReplyDelete
  6. Happy Birthday Canada!
    and happy well-deserved holiday to you.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Have a wonderful holiday Diane - you deserve it!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Happy Canada Day! Today (Saturday) we are celebrating our Independence Day…but of course, in typical meno mama style, I am celebrating with Jell-O shots and deviled eggs at a poolside BBQ near the beach later today, Ha-Ha!

    ReplyDelete
  9. My computer time the past few weeks has been limited and I've been feeling badly because I haven't read one of your posts for so long. It was good to see that I am only one behind because you are on vacation! I hope you are having a wonderful time Diane!!
    I remember school celebrations for the Centennial as well. Lots of coloring of maps mostly.
    Do you remember a sort of contemporary song with lyrics that included "Its the 100th celebration of confederation ... everybody sing together now, Can - a - da... we love thee ...North South East West..." It still plays through my head sometimes!
    Enjoy your well deserved vacation!

    ReplyDelete

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Diane was born and raised on one of the last of the great old Southern Alberta ranches. A way of life that is fast disappearing now. Through her memories and stories, she keeps it alive. And even, at times, accurate . . .

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