To Absent Friends...

29 Jun 2012 4:58 PM | Anonymous member

As the eve of yet another Canada Day spent abroad creeps upon us, I am reminded of Canada Days past in cities near and far.

I am, yet again, not in Canada but I am also not in Australia as I have been more of an Absent President than an Acting President this year, spending more than half of 2012 overseas.

On July 1st, the Canadian side of our psyche turns to thoughts of patriotism and nationality.  Though we may not be the most fiercely patriotic of modern nations, I would argue that we Canadians are fiercely proud of our nation and of being "from Canada".

Whilst some of us may have chosen the expatriate lifestyle and others may have had the decision taken for them by work or education (or partner!), all will share the familiar bittersweet pleasures of visiting “home”.  Sweet as it is an opportunity to see old friends and family again; bitter as often the old cliché “You can’t go home again” kicks in as you find yourself a stranger in your own home town.

So, whilst I may not be in Canada on the 1st, I – like many others who are lucky enough to wield more than one passport – will cherish my Canadian one above all, representative as it is of global acceptance and respect.

As far as our annual CAC celebrations are concerned,  I am very sorry that we are not there with you on the night and I wish you all well at the Art House.  Our thanks, as ever, to the small, hard-working band of volunteers – especially Catriona, Kathleen & Brenda – without whose efforts, the sparkle and magic of these events would never come to fruition.  My thanks as well to our very own Consul General, Mario Ste-Marie, and his wife, Anne Lessard, for their welcome presence and to Mario for stepping up to the plate in my absence to say a few words.

And now, with no small lack of irony, I’d ask you all – from 15,000kms away – to raise a glass and join me in a toast to…

… Absent Friends and Family!

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