“Once more Dominion day comes to have us honor again Canada’s anniversary of birth. A July child she is, born in Island places.
Canada? What does the name signify to Canadians?
We recall that the distinguished Canadian Beverly Baxter, now and for years domiciled in London, remembered after a visit to his native shores but her “kindness and courtesies” but also “the thousand glimpses of Canadian beauty… a full moon over Rockies so dazzling that the eyelids were forced down like a curtain… a mountain stream of light grey blue gurgling its story as it went sunlight dancing upon the water against a misty background of an Island in the Pacific… a solitary bark canoe on a northern lake paddled by an Indian stripped to the waist as if the white man had never come… New Brunswick’s countryside crowned with garlands of wispy cloud as we soared above them in a plane… the lights of ships reflected on the waters as midnight came to Halifax…
To Island farm- folks such as we, Canada is, we would say a friendly sky arched over a vast and varied domain farmland and forest, lake and river, mountain and plain. Hamlet and city; bounded by seas warm and colder, and a long, unprotected but respected neighbourly line, which separates Dominion and States.
To us too, Canada means every blessing and love and loveliness of earth. It is within certain limitations — the right to live our lives as we choose with many a privilege and opportunity offered in this free land that is ours. It is a home, little or larger in valley, on hilltop or some where we choose to be, with a school, a church, good neighbours and all that about which makes life good.
It is within reason, the right to work at the calling or occupation of one’s choice which as Stevenson said “If any man love the labour of any trade, apart from the question of success or failure, the gods have called him and he is indeed blest.
Canada —our own land, we salute you Good Luck and God Bless you we say as you step over the threshold into another year. May you continue to grow strong and great.”
– Ellen’s Diary, June 30th, 1956
In this excerpt from Ellen’s Diary, Ellen channeled Sir Beverly Baxter’s 1949 MacLean’s article, I Found a new Canada, and then reflected on what Canada meant to “Island farm folks.”