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Posted by on Jul 5, 2014 in Canada | 3 comments

Happy Canada Day: “We’re 147 Years Old”

Canada flag map (1)

TMV Editor’s Note: While Americans celebrated the 4th of July, three days earlier was an important and cherished holiday to our friends and neighbors up north: Canada Day. Here’s TMV Assistant Editor Michael Sticking’s homage that ran on his blog The Reaction:

Born in 1867…

To all my Canadian friends and family, have a safe and happy day. And to everyone else, to all of you from around the world, take a bit of time today to think of us. This is a pretty wonderful country.

(And to my American friends, enjoy the soccer game against Belgium later. I’m actually not sure whom I’m rooting for. I rarely root for the U.S. in international sports, but soccer is occasionally the exception. But Belgium is also a lovely country, not least with the beer, chocolate, waffles, moules, and frites, and it’s hard not to like its team, however trendy a pick. Regardless, however much we love American football, it’s fun being part of a truly international competition, with a real world champion, isn’t it?)

To help celebrate, here’s the great Roger Doucet singing our anthem before a game of the 1978 World Junior Ice Hockey Championship, held from December 22, 1977 to January 3, 1978 in Montreal and Quebec City. This particular game was played at the old Montreal Forum, as you can tell from the Canadiens logo at center ice. (The Soviet Union won the tournament, but the leading scorer was a young kid by the name of Wayne Gretzky.)

As a hockey-crazed kid in Montreal in the ’70s, I grew up with Doucet, as I did with Lafleur, Dryden, Robinson, and the other players on those incredible Canadiens teams. Going to games at the Forum with my dad (including the Stanley Cup clincher against the Rangers on May 21, 1979, when I saw the Habs carry the Cup around the ice, their fourth-straight championship) or watching Hockey Night in Canada with my family on CBC on Saturdays, it was always Doucet’s magnificent voice that set the tone. To all of us who are from Montreal, to all of us who love the Habs, there was no one like Doucet, no one who could sing an anthem quite like he could.

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  • Hi Michael — thanks for a lovely post! Yes, we here in Canada are now 147 years old — when I first came here, this country only had 9 provinces – had to wait till 1949 for NFLD to join up. This is truly a wonderful country, despite our “Harper” leader — but we will survive! I love this country more than I can ever describe in a million years.

    Thank you too for the Doucet clip of O Canada — “glorious and free” — wonderful! Today I watched as Costa Rica lost to the Netherlands on a shoot-out — I was rooting for CR — but it was a great game – never cottoned on to soccer until this past couple of weeks. We are
    all well here, some more than others, but on the whole — we’re doing good.

    This morning Eugenie lost to that Czech lady at Wimbleton – it was no contest really, but Genie won our hearts and souls and she’ll be back next year and some day she’ll take the big prize! She (at 20 years old – 50 years my junior) is my hero! There’s no shame in coming in second!

    Thank you for the good wishes — here in Toronto, it’s warm and sunny, the gardens look great and the back yards are filled with the smell of BBQ — a lazy few days to just relax. I wish the same to all our American friends on this long weekend — I forget how old THEY are – older than us is all I know. All best to you in Belgium — I still hanker after some of those steamed mussels and frites with mayo on the side — they were the best I ever tasted — EVER.

    I want to come back some day — to taste some more great food – and maybe pick up a key chain of the Mannekin Pis — didn’t get one when I was there last — silly thing to want — but one day I’ll get one.

  • I need to add that two years ago I did a national school tour in non-writing incarnation. Due to response from schools, they’ve invited me back and I’ll do another one (the last one involved driving 49,000 miles in 9 months). This year they’ll be adding schools in Canada and British Columbia…and I can’t wait. I’ve only been to Canada briefly and it is such a WONDERFUL country. I loved the look of the cities I quickly visited, loved the food and especially the people. I don’t have the schedule yet, but I should be doing two trips (Canada and British Columbia area).

  • The_Ohioan

    Happy Birthday, Canada. The one trip I’ve taken there was a delight. The mass transit, small self sufficient enclaves, terrific museum (saw holograms in the “flesh” there for the first time) and wonderful restaurants in Toronto were a treat. One of the best meals I’ve ever had was at a Ukrainian restaurant there.

    We decided that the small road signs were the result of the Canadians driving so fast they couldn’t see them anyway and their speed meant they didn’t worry about accidents because they all had national health insurance anyway. We never did get up to speed. 🙂

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