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The importance of diversity and freedom reflected on Canada Day

July 4, 2019   ·   0 Comments

Written By MARNI WALSH

Pride in our country and the values we hold dear as Canadians were very evident at the Canada Day celebrations held in Fiddle Park on July 1. 

The perfect weather drew an early crowd for the opening ceremonies at 6 p.m. Shelburne Mayor Wade Mills officially welcomed the crowd, reminding them that they not only lived in the “best province in the best country in the world,” but in the “best town.” 

MPP Sylvia Jones was also on hand to give best wishes, as the kids of LP Stage Productions opened with a harmonized rendition of O’Canada, led by musical director Noni Thomas. Veteran Merv Parker accepted the Canadian flag after it was blessed by Pastor Gordon Horsley. Shelburne cadets ran the maple leaf up the flag pole where it waved proudly in the light evening breeze.

Activities for the event included, the Giant Tiger Train, archery and axe throwing, Shelburne Shocks basketball toss, Farmapalooza, and Artsploration. Musical entertainment was provided by LP Stage Productions, Sandy Harron – playing her “Heartfelt Music,” Little Current, and finally Jimmy Dan Dee. The Kinettes kept the kitchen open and the growing crowd fed throughout the evening, while the Kinsmen ran the beer gardens.

The Police Bike Safety draw saw two new bikes go to safe young riders Jaz White and Christina Cassamento.

Shelburnites were happy, even eager, to speak to the Free Press about their personal thoughts and feelings on Canada Day. Fair Ambassador, Megan Timins, who has traveled the world extensively, says that no matter where she goes  “it always feels so good to come back to Canada – ‘I’m home,’” she says. “I’m very proud to be from Canada where we are free to be whatever we want to be. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”

Junior Fair Ambassador, Sarah Bannon says, “Canada has a lot to offer – you don’t have to go far to see beautiful places and meet friendly people. You can be whoever you want to be and be accepted.”

Shelburne teenager, Jaxzon-Drew Jezequel says, July 1 is a day for everyone to come together, despite the things that divide us, and celebrate our pride for our country. His friend Nastasha Frost added, “It is a day where people chose to be patriotic to celebrate the land they were born in or welcomed to with open arms.”

Veteran Merv Parker, who stood proudly by the flag in his uniform says, “On Canada Day, I think of the history of fulfillment and pride in my accommplishments on behalf of this great nation.”

Walter Kolodziechuk of Amaranth reflected, “Canada Day reminds me that our country is welcoming to all people.” Charles Newth says, “Canada is my home, I was born here and to me it is the most wonderful country in the world. No other country matches it.”

Andrew and Juli-Anne James, co-founders of Streams Community Hub, say, that for  them, “Canada means inclusion and opportunity.”

Retired nurse, Ruth Cruikshank says, “We are very fortunate to be in Canada, and I would like to see us make things better for our new comers. At my age – I just feel grateful.”

Mayor Wade Mills told the Free Press, “Canada Day is a way to celebrate the country we all love and call home. An opportunity to reflect on the values that make our country so great.” Councillor Walter Benotto added, “What makes Canada so great is the diversity we see in our country and even in our own small town – the ability for everyone to come here and be free.”



         

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