Since elementary school days, I have had the opportunity to sing our National Anthem when we attend a NHL hockey game in Vancouver and well, that is about it… Reason to sing the National Anthem rarely comes up when you live on a pacific west coast island with twenty-two (give or take) people.. There are no hockey games played here.
Today, we once again were able to do something we have never done before. Doing things we have never done before (daily) is one of our goals while we live here. Usually that goal is met by nature when we perhaps see a barred owl for the first time or by necessity when we meet a challenge like installing an on demand hot water system.. Today our goal was met by an invitation to a Canadian Citizenship Ceremony in town.
We left the dogs at home as it was going to be a long day. I hadn’t been to town for weeks and our cupboards were bare. They are well stocked now and the winds can come as they please as I have no where I have to be for a long time. After we loaded supplies onto the boat we had time to scoot over to the convention centre ballroom and witness the latest island resident to join the community that is Canadian citizenship.
The S’s are the youngest couple on the island and the parents of two-year old Little Bo Peep and her 6 month old sister, the lost sheep from Halloween last week. They are the youngest on the island by at least twenty years and just about the hardest working young people you could ever meet. The islanders universally respect and admire these two. The older women fight over who gets to cuddle their children.
RS is from the southern states and I don’t how she met her Canadian husband TS and ended up living on this remote land so very different from where she came from but we are glad she did… There are very few residents on the island these days but those who were, gathered on the dock, to greet our latest citizen and welcome her with a gluten-free maple leaf decorated cake (The Y’s made it) and waving flags.
The ceremony was an hour-long. The Judge, accompanied by an RCMP in red serge, a World War II Veteran, MLA assistant and citizenship clerk gave a very welcoming speech. His manner was relaxed and humourous.. He invited the new citizens to embrace the diversity of the country and encouraged their community service… He mentioned that opportunities were unlimited for all and mentioned that anyone could become Prime Minister…
He noted that there were 96 people in the audience today who would take the oath of allegiance to their new country from 29 different countries. At a citizenship ceremony in a small town on Vancouver Island we thought representation from 29 countries was very impressive. Everyone repeated the oath of allegiance, new Canadians and old. I don’t think I have ever done that before either… The ceremony wrapped up and we all sang
Oh Canada lustily