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Friday, July 12, 2024
Ross’s Ramblings: Kindness and happiness abound on Canada Day
A dazzling display of red and white fireworks at Fort George. DAVE VAN DE LAAR DAVE VAN DE LAAR

“Ours is a country of good, kind people,” Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland declared to thousands of cheering people in our nation’s capital.

“It’s time to set aside our national modesty and declare that Canada is the best country in the world.”

The single and simple word “kind” is a magical word. Only four letters, but it conveys such good feelings.

Wherever you were in Canada on July 1, strangers were greeting strangers, saying “Happy Canada Day.” Friendly smiles were exchanged and good feelings dominated the day.

Do you think anyone, anywhere, was saying “Happy Ukraine Day” or “Happy Colombia Day?”

Or “Happy Gaza Day,” “Happy Syria Day” or “Happy Israel Day?”

We Canadians are so fortunate.

So many people in our world are living under dangerous conditions, often without enough food or potable water. By the way, potable is a fancy word for safe or drinkable.

So many Canadians were wearing red and white, and so many houses had Canadian flags in their front yards.

Indeed, one NOTLer took down all their Christmas lights and replaced them with hundreds of red and white lights strung along the eavestroughs. That’s the spirit!

News of the world struggled to get space in our newspapers. The Stanley Cup MVP, Conn Smythe Trophy winner Connor McDavid, was a no-show for the on-ice presentation, staying in his dressing room after losing game 7.

He was apparently too sad to do his professional duty to his fans. Smarten up, NHL.

Over at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Frankfurt, Portugal beat Slovenia in the Round of 16.  The two teams had played to a 0-0 draw through regulation time and extra time.

Folks, is it time to change the rules to allow the players to score the odd goal? Portugal prevailed on penalty kicks.

As my daughter Carrie said years ago, after watching the Netherlands and Argentina play to a nil-nil draw, “Change the rules.” It’s past time.

Here in our magnificent Canada, WestJet mechanics had chosen a very busy travel weekend to go on strike, purposefully ruining so many family get-togethers. Smarten up and allow Canadians to share a hug while saying “Happy Canada Day.”

Showing great determination and tenacity on a day when “The weather was perfect,” the NOTL Legion Branch 124 hosted its best Canada Day ever.

Record revenues, record fun and a record number of celebrants saying “Happy Canada Day.”Wish I had been there, but I was over in multicultural Toronto at the Royal Canadian Yacht Club, watching their theatrical presentation of “The Foam.”

On July 13, here in NOTL, hundreds of blazer-wearing sailors and their friends will be led by piper Morgan Stanford from the NOTL Sailing Club to the historic gazebo in Queen’s Royal Park, and then to the RCYC’s Foam plot in the St. Mark’s Anglican Church cemetery.

The 150-year-old plot has been professionally restored by Alan Ernest. And Bernadette Secco will be chiming the bells as we remember the seven young sailors from Toronto who tragically drowned on July 11, 1874.

Let’s ramble back to the wonderful and powerful word kind.

As night fell on July 1, I rode over to Fort George to watch the annual fireworks display. I took a position on the path near the palisades, within 100 metres of the pyrotechnics launch pad.

I have always loved fireworks. Bright, loud and celebratory. They really make a statement.

But perhaps it’s time, eh? I may be getting soft as I age, but they really are obnoxious.

Babies and pets hate them. And they pollute. They cause a few fires every year. Some people get badly burned.

I find myself agreeing with my previously mentioned smart daughter who is a big proponent of lasers and holograms.

Just as impressive, with none of the bad aspects.

So, next year let’s be even kinder, and put an end to noisy, bright, polluting, impressive fireworks on Canada Day.

Let’s be kinder to one another, as we move forward.

My newest slogan is, “Today’s traditions were yesterday’s changes.”

Deep thinking from a very kind Canada Day.

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