I am writing this on the last day of June 2012, so tomorrow Canada turns 145 years old. For a person 145 years are an impossible number of years to live, as a country, 145 years put Canada just past adolescence, you know, finding ourselves, becoming established and setting ourselves up for a long and happy run.
Coincidentally I had just experienced a real strong Canadian Pride moment last week when I was travelling the grid road to work shortly before 7a.m. Early traffic gave the road-dust a mist-like quality as it drifted into the lush green crops and treed areas near the grid road. It was a surreal moment as I cruised through the picture perfect, calendar-like beauty of a Prairie morning. I have always been a real proud Canadian but it’s on occasions like that when the feeling really hits home.
To honour our nation on its birthday I have accumulated some Canadian facts for you this week. Enjoy:
• Canada became a country on July 1, 1867, when the British North America Act was passed by the British Parliament.
• Canada is the world's largest exporter of mustard seed — 80 per cent is grown in brilliant yellow fields in Saskatchewan.
• The baseball glove was invented in Canada in 1883.
• Canada is the home to many other great inventions, including: basketball, the electric light bulb, the electric range, the electron microscope, standard time, the television, the telephone, and the zipper.
• Canada has made a significant contribution to rock and roll, beginning with “Sh-Boom” by the Crew-Cuts in 1954. Other famous Canadian rock-and-rollers include Paul Anka, Neil Young, the Guess Who, Bachman Turner Overdrive, Steppenwolf, Avril Lavigne, Rush, Bryan Adams, and The Barenaked Ladies.
• The Moosehead Brewery in Saint John, New Brunswick, turns out 1,642 bottles of beer per minute.
• North America's earliest undisputed evidence of human activity, 20,000-year-old stone tools and animal bones have been found in caves on the Bluefish River in northern Yukon
• The Mounted Police were formed in 1873, with nine officers. In 1920, the Mounted Police merged with the Dominion Police to become the famous Royal Canadian Mounted Police, an organization that now has more than 28,000 members.
• Ice hockey is Canada's official national game. The modern game of ice hockey was developed in Canada, based on games that have been played since the tenth century. The rules were first published in the Montreal Gazette in 1877
• North America's lowest recorded temperature was -81.4 degrees Fahrenheit (-63 C) at Snag, Yukon Territory, on February 3, 1947. (But it was a DRY cold!!)
• More Canadians inventions: kerosene, the electronic organ, insulin, the IMAX film system and the snowmobile.
• According to various polls on the matter Canada ranks anywhere from fourth to sixth as one of the best and happiest countries on Earth to live in. But we already knew that!
“As a people, we know what we can do, we know how to do it and we just want to get on with it. How? By ensuring that Canada’s place in the world is one of influence and pride,”-Paul Martin (1938- ) The 21st Prime Minister of Canada