Sunday, January 04, 2009

11 Years In Canada!

Today is my 11th anniversary living in the great country of Canada! As I move into the 12th year I wanted to school some of you up on what I have learned over the first 11 years! (note: I do so with slight tongue in cheek)

Let me start out by saying how much I love Canada. I always have as living in Detroit gave me immediate access to Windsor Canada just on the other side of the Detroit River. As a child my parent brought us here on several visits over the years! As an adult I got engaged at the Windsor Holiday Inn! ( A memorable moment believe you me!;-) On January 4th 1998 Anderson Consulting brought me here to help run the Ford Call Centre and since then I have gone through the process in making my stay here permanent!

Ok so lets start out with the flag... quintessential minimalism and the stark use of the maple leaf makes this a fantastic flag! In 1964, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson appointed a committee to resolve the issue, sparking a serious debate about a flag change. Out of three choices, the maple leaf design by George F. G. Stanley and John Matheson based on the flag of the Royal Military College of Canada was selected. The flag made its first appearance on February 15, 1965... the year I turned 5! Canadians are known for their reserved form of patriotism or should I say supposed Patriotism. It seems the maole leaf adorns just about everything here! Im not kidding! One of the best examples is the McDonalds Logo! Its a wonderful and subtle way of making sure you are doing business with a Canadian company as well as supporting the country! ...So Lets talk MONEY!

The front of the $5 dollar bill features a portrait of Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the coat of arms, and a picture of the West Block of the Parliament buildings. The reverse side depictschildren engaged in winter sports, including sledding, ice skating, and hockey; this is accompanied by a quotation from Roch Carrier's short story, "The Hockey Sweater":
The winters of my childhood were long, long seasons. We lived in three places - the school, the church and the skating rink - but our life was on the skating rink. Sir Wilfrid Laurier was the seventh Prime Minister of Canada from July 11, 1896, to October 5, 1911. Canada's first francophone prime minister, Laurier is often considered one of the country's greatest statesmen. He is well known for his policies of conciliation, expanding Confederation, and compromise between French and English Canada. His vision for Canada was a land of individual liberty and decentralized federalism. He also argued for an English-French partnership in Canada. "I have had before me as a pillar of fire," he said, "a policy of true Canadianism, of moderation, of reconciliation." And he passionately defended individual liberty, "Canada is free and freedom is its nationality," and "Nothing will prevent me from continuing my task of preserving at all cost our civil liberty." Laurier was also well regarded for his efforts to establish Canada as an autonomous country within the British Empire.

The front of the $10 dollar bill features a portrait of Sir John A. Macdonald, the coat of arms, and a picture of the Library of Parliament. A security feature visible from the front consists of three shiny maple leaves. The reverse side depicts images related to warfare and remembrance; this is accompanied by a quotation from John McCrae's World War I poem "In Flanders Fields"

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.


Sir John A. Macdonald was the first Prime Minister of Canada and the dominant figure of Canadian Confederation. Macdonald's tenure in office spanned 19 years, making him the second longest serving Prime Minister of Canada. He is the only Canadian Prime Minister to win six majority governments. He was the major proponent of a national railway, completed in 1885, linking Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific Oceans. He won praise for having helped forge a nation of sprawling geographic size, with two diverse European colonial origins, numerous Aboriginal nations, and a multiplicity of cultural backgrounds and political views.

The front of the $20 dollar bill features a portrait of Elizabeth II, Queen of Canada, the Royal Arms of Canada, and a picture of the Centre Block of the Parliament buildings. So Why the Queen of England you ask? Well it all has to do with the Commonwealth of Nations, also known as the Commonwealth or the British Commonwealth, is a voluntary association of 53 independent sovereign states, most of which are former British colonies, or dependencies of these colonies!

The front $50 dollar bill features a portrait of William Lyon Mackenzie King, the coat of arms, and a picture of the Peace Tower of the Parliament William Lyon Mackenzie King served as the tenth Prime Minister of Canada from December 29, 1921, to June 28, 1926; September 25, 1926, to August 6, 1930; and October 23, 1935, to November 15, 1948. With over 21 years in the office, he was the longest serving Prime Minister in British Commonwealth history.

The front of the $100 dollar features a portrait of Sir Robert Borden, the coat of arms, and a picture of the East Block of the Parliament buildings. He served as the eighth Prime Minister of Canada from October 10, 1911, to July 10, 1920

But then there is the OTHER currency! Canadian Tire 'Money' was inspired by Muriel Billes, the wife of Canadian Tire's co-founder and first president, A.J. Billes, and was introduced as a "cash bonus coupon" in 1958 in the first Canadian Tire Gas Bar in Toronto. If you live anywhere in Canada you will come to appreciate this extra cash!;-)

Now it seems my brothers and sisters who live below the boarder have a skewed idea of Canada being perpetually cold, that we live in igloos and look allot like these two guys!
Not True! So take off you hozers!
Actual these fellas are Canadian, Bob and Doug Mckenzie from the great white north skit on the show Second City TV! The fore runner of Saturday Night Live both created by Lorne Michaels! In conclusion we are a very modern type of people who have atleast two months of summer in most places;-)

For those of you who actually sing the National Anthem at sporting events the Canadian Anthem is a measure above the Star Spangled Banner for ease of singing... The words are from the heart and the melody rarely takes one out of their range! No Roseanne Barr mishaps here!

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.

With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!

From far and wide,
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.


So let me end this post on this note! God bless Canada! And heres to the next 11 years!



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1 comment:

Jamar Herrod said...

Nice history and in-depth analysis of the currency. Thanks for sharing about the prime ministers and the Canadian anthem. It is always good to be proud of the country of which you reside!