Canada: Home is where our hearts are

In 1823 American dramatist John Howard Payne wrote, “Home Sweet Home”. Remember the stanza: “Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam, be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home”?

RCMP arrive in Cloverdale on Canada Day.

In 1823 American dramatist John Howard Payne wrote, “Home Sweet Home”. Remember the stanza: “Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam, be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home”?

Arriving at the Vancouver Airport International Terminal recently the “there’s no place like home” part crossed my mind.

“Humble” is neither an apt description of the stunning approach to Vancouver by air, nor the impressive artwork majestically greeting visitors.

Beside me travelers – obviously first time visitors – commented: “Wow! Terrific!”, “Look at that those carvings!”, “Holy! Impressive!”

And, they were right.

Though not Canadian born, I confess to considerable pride striding along the platform over the waterfall feature, and descending (rather regally, I thought) down the escalator flanked by statuesque totem poles and an outstanding collection of aboriginal carvings to be greeted by Bill Reid’s haunting bronze sculpture, The Spirit of Haida Gwaii.

In 1927, the late aviation icon Charles Lindbergh – unimpressed with the Vancouver airport of the day – declined to include it in his North American tour. Well, Charles, it would top on your tour list today.

Sailing out of Lunenburg onboard Nova Scotia’s sailing ambassador, Bluenose II, inspires similar sentiments.

Wandering Pier 21 (the Museum of Canadian Immigration in Halifax), or a blustery day peering at the Atlantic from the craggy St. John’s, Newfoundland seafront has the same effect.

Surely, the young Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to Ottawa’s Capitol Hill on Canada Day and their delight (I have no doubt) when checking out Kate’s Calgary aviation connection will bring a tear to eyes even younger than mine.

Closer to home, Surrey’s invariably packed multicultural extravaganza at the Cloverdale

Rodeo grounds will generate similar emotions.

From Canada’s shining sea to sea it will indeed be a “Happy Canada Day.”

– Ursula Maxwell-Lewis retired as Managing Editor of the Cloverdale Reporter to read, write and wander.