A little taste of Canada in London

Canada House on Trafalgar Square - June 2016.
Canada House on Trafalgar Square – June 2016.

It was one of the quickest checkpoint passages I think I’ve ever experienced. Not that the security officer wasn’t thorough. Not at all. First he asked us about the nature of our visit. We said we wanted to visit the Canada Gallery just beyond the checkpoint. Next, he asked to scan my backpack. No problem there. Then, I offered my passport.

“Canadians?” the security guard said.

I nodded and in we went. My wife and I had just gone through the security check at Canada House, in London, England.

Canada Day attitude

B. J. Byers presented a solo concert in Uxbridge on June 22, 2013… It was 15 years in the making.

Part way through B.J. Byers’ concert last Saturday night in Uxbridge, the young pianist finished one of his toughest pieces – an etude by Chopin. He wiped the perspiration from his face with a towel, smiled broadly – as if he had just conquered Everest – and acknowledged the packed house at Trinity United Church.

“There was once a time, I wouldn’t have been able to face this,” Byers said. “I would have just turned and run away.”

Memorable mayoral moments

Ontario Premier Leslie Frost, left, and Toronto Mayor Allan Lamport pull the switch to officially start Toronto Transit Commission’s subway service on March 30, 1954.

I guess because they demand the greatest attention on the world stage or occupy the most broadcast time and newspaper space, we tend to pay closest attention to national political figures when they speak.

When, for example, Sir Wilfrid Laurier said, “The 20th century belongs to Canada,” or Pierre Elliot Trudeau said, “Just watch me,” we remember the statement and the speaker. We don’t tend to remember, however, what Toronto Mayor Allan Lamport said about the way his city grew and prospered.

“No city ever became great,” he said, “without a subway.”