The years come and go, Pierre Trudeau made his political inroad, Stephen Harper just came on the horizon, and I assume he spent more time thinking about playing the piano than becoming a politician.
The year 1971 was the beginning of our new life on the North American continent. As a family of five, but ready to expand and living the story of The Von Trapp family from the musical The Sound of Music; a story of freedom from oppression.
Did the dream come true? “You betcha,” as they say in the cow town of Calgary. Calgary was our starting block. Ralph Klein became a legend on the political horizon; he had dreams of greatness, a journalist turned politician.
It seems anything was possible in the land of dreamers, where dreams come true. The dreams were lived year after year by thousands who landed on the shores of this wide open country.
Years ago the start of a human mosaic became reality. People from all parts of the world landed somewhere in this land that only a few years back was colonized by the French and the British.
For reasons known only by God the Almighty, this land, the North American continent, was preserved for the future for oppressed people, who shared their roots in different countries of the Old World.
As a teenager I had set aside a thought, a dream, that I too might look for the end of the horizon, where I did not know, but Canada it would be. The Netherlands, my birthplace was a country with a long, rich heritage.
Rotterdam was my playground, plagued by the destruction of war, a country where my grandfather and father were rescued from death, so I too could live with my posterity in the wide open spaces of Canada. Canada Day is a special day for all who live, appreciate and smell the fragrance of freedom.
In this troubled world with its increasing sense of hopelessness, Canada shines as the bastion of hope. From the words of Conrad Black, “Canada has an opportunity it has never had before, to be a benign influence in the world.”
After travelling through many countries, Allan Fotheringham wrote, “My favourite was Canada. Because after seeing 91 of them, I know how lucky I was. I’m living in the best country in the world.”
Because we have been blessed with good leadership in the past and in the present, economic devastation has largely passed us by. I am thankful and proud to be a Canadian and share the love of this country with many, whose forefathers had the insight and the will to break away from tyranny; leaving their loved ones behind and living the traditions that they inherited in a country that we call …Canada the Land of the Free.