by Paula Kully –
As COVID 19 has put a stop to any large gatherings, including Canada Day events, I asked some friends and colleagues how they will be celebrating our Nation’s Birthday this year.
Peter Godwin Chance
Peter served with the Royal Canadian Navy during WWII and will be celebrating his 100th birthday this November!
“I would very much like to be a part of the Parade down Beacon Avenue. I will dress up in my Blazer and Gongs with the latest French Legion of Honour Medal in the rank of Knight. As my marching days are behind me, I would hope to be seated in a vehicle. For the rest of the day, I expect to be taken to the home of my daughter Sherry and her husband Dale on Bear Mountain. It will be a family gathering. I’ll stay overnight and be driven home on the following morning.
Yazmin immigrated to Canada from Chihuahua, Mexico, 17 years ago to study at Pearson College. She is currently a planner at the Town of Sidney, co-chair of the South Vancouver Island chapter for the Planning Institute of BC and is the driving force behind the employee garden at the Town Hall.
“Canada Day has special meaning to me as it is a day when I celebrate my life journey after leaving my first home in Mexico. I feel incredibly privileged that my citizenship was a conscious choice born of a strong desire to join in the promise of Canada’s multi-culturalism.
“This year, my husband, dog and I will be going out to Thetis Lake on our bright red cedar stripped canoe and enjoy a morning paddle and picnic. A BBQ dinner and a movie with the one other family who is part of our bubble will wrap up the celebrations because no summer celebration is complete without a BBQ and a margarita.”
I think that just about everyone who lives in Sidney knows Kenny. Not only has he been our colourful Town Crier for many years, but he is also highly involved with Canada Day as he starts the Parade, and emcees the Canada Day Eve festivities and the Slegg Build-a-Boat race.
“For Canada Day this year, I plan to dress in red and white and walk around town handing out Canadian flags to spread some Canada Day cheer and patriotism. Of course, I will be doing this while practising physical distancing and I won’t be divulging when or where I will be.”
Ryan Trelford has called the Saanich Peninsula home for his entire 25 years. This bright, industrious young man who holds a degree in Economics from UVic and has worked at BC Ferries for six years, is also a volunteer with the Royal Canadian Legion, the Poppy campaign and Brentwood Bay Rotary Club.
“Canada Day is the beginning of summer; it’s a chance to enjoy your community and nature with friends and family. It is also a significant day as we celebrate the founding of our country, one that was created by the stroke of a pen and not a sword. This year, I plan to have a BBQ with friends and family in my backyard.
“The pandemic has, for a lot of us, brought a finer appreciation for our outdoors and for socializing. I find that going on a hike, sitting around a campfire, or walking along a beach are very therapeutic and healthy – great new habits to enjoy! I hope that everyone might be able to have a happy and safe Canada Day! Cheers!”
Susan is a community leader with a long and illustrious career as an educator, facilitator, public speaker, writer, mentor and much more. Most recently, she was the President of the Sidney Business Improvement Area Society for six years.
“We plan to follow many of our normal Canada Day rituals, minus the parade and Town activities of course! We will have my sister and a small number of friends over and, assuming nice weather, enjoy a meal together in our backyard. Instead of all being at one table as we normally do, we’ll arrange four tables in a circle so everyone will have sufficient space to socially distance and still enjoy one another’s company.
“We will also make a centrepiece of the flags represented by our guests – the U.K., the U.S., Wales and Ireland – with the large Canadian flag right in the middle! It won’t be anything fancy but I think we will all be grateful that we can be together after such a long time of being apart.”
To find out what your community is doing to celebrate Canada Day, visit www.sidneybia.ca, www.centralsaanich.ca, www.sidney.ca and www.northsaanich.ca.