SOME CANADA DAY CHANGES

The annual Canada Day bike decorating contest.

The annual Canada Day bike decorating contest.

In case you missed it, yesterday was Canada Day. And, as always, there was a celebration in Thorold’s Battle of Beaverdams Park except that this year it wasn’t called the Mayor’s Canada Day Picnic but rather the Canada Day Community Celebration. Instead of being organized by Terry Dow this year, the work was carried out by Deputy Clerk Donna Delvecchio and Recreation Coordinator Ginger Derochie. They did a great job considering all the hurdles I personally know are thrown in front of anyone organizing anything in Thorold and I’m sure they must both be glad it’s over, at least for this year. I know that Council had approved the formation of a committee to do the work for next year, so maybe they’re finished once they find volunteers for that new committee.

In among all the things going on in the park yesterday, I tried something new, at least for me, since I don’t seem to be able to keep my mouth shut. I called together kids from the park to help me, as Thorold’s Official Town Crier, in wishing Canada a happy birthday.

I didn’t really know how this was going to turn out. I didn’t have any idea if any of the kids would be interested, although I had done something vaguely similar during the March Break programme at the Library. I had a vaguely unsettling feeling that, should I get any number of kids, this might turn out to be much like herding cats. Well, I was pleasantly surprised on all counts.

At the appointed time, and with an additional announcement from the emcee, kids started approaching the stage area. I had 20 bells (which they had to return) and 20 Town Crier hats (which they got to keep). There were more kids than that and it broke my heart, but I had to turn some away.

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Giving my new Criers their instructions.

I gave them instructions and we got started.

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A “bells up” for Canada and our audience.

We rang our bells, cried “Oyez” three times, I gave a short explanation as to what we were doing and why, we all sang the Birthday Song (with Canada where the name goes), shouted “Happy Birthday Canada!”, and gave Canada and the crowd a “bells up” (all ringing our bells at once as show of appreciation).

And it all went perfectly smoothly! My assistant Criers all did exactly as they were supposed to do, when they were supposed to do it and they did it well (except maybe next time I’ll try to get their volume up). I was very proud of the whole lot.

This could definitely become a Canada Day tradition.

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