Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Canada Day

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but it's Canada Day and so I shall mention this once more. Besides, if history repeats, traffic on the blog is going to be pretty slow today anyway.

Eight years ago today one of the more important events in my life happened. I got to watch one of my best friends become a Canadian citizen. It can be pretty easy to be cynical about Canada at times. The quality of politicians inhabiting the capital these days is certainly sub par. And if you live in Newfoundland you would think there's absolutely nothing worthwhile about the whole country given the rhetoric that comes from the premier.

But if you're ever feeling dispirited and down about our home and native land, I can only tell you that you should go and find the nearest citizenship ceremony you can, especially on Canada Day, and just sit back and watch. There's no way you can see people becoming Canadian citizens and not be moved. It's honestly one of the best ways I can think of to celebrate Canada Day.

As for the aforementioned best friend, that would be Dups. And the event, as recapped on this blog and in a CBC documentary I produced (God, look at all that extra hair. And really ugly shirt) would rank up there as one of the best times of my life. A couple of days of partying in Ottawa, capped by the ceremony.

I will mention two other things from that event that were important to me. Dups was literally hours away from having to leave the country when he found out he could stay. I was one of the people he asked to write a letter of reference to Immigration Canada and whatever I said must have been good enough to help convince them he should stay. It always meant a lot to me that he asked me to write that letter and that it actually worked.

Secondly, the unsung hero of that day was thousands of kilometres away and couldn't be there. In 2001 I was working for The Packet and was living on poverty wages. There was simply no way I could afford the $600 plane ticket, plus the cost of accommodations and meals. So when Dups announced he was going to the citizenship ceremony in Ottawa, I was depressed because I was going to miss it.

That's when my knight in shining armor, Melissa emailed and offered to give me several hundred dollars to help pay for the plane ticket. Not lend....give. Her only request was that I help someone else out down the line when they needed it. It remains, to this day, one of the single nicest things anyone has ever done for me.

I might have had a bad month of June, but Melissa had a worse one. So any good karma I have, I'm wishing it her way. And for that matter, anything else she needs to help get her and Hayden over the hump is hers.

And before this gets too maudlin, one last thing. To say Dups has lead an...interesting last few years would be an understatement. Dups is the brains behind the St. Patrick's Day Drunk Dial (um, which I won this year, but didn't say anything about earlier for fear my entry might upset someone. But to hell with it, I'm unemployed and in Australia in a little over a week, so fire away). And last week he launched his latest online project, the Tweet Rhapsody. It's essentially Dups trying to do a novel in a Twitter-like format.

I honestly don't understand how his brain works. I'm just glad it stayed in Canada.

Last Five
1. Girls in the summer dresses - Bruce Springsteen
2. Gone, gone, gone - Joel Plaskett
3. Running (live) - Allison Crowe
4. Civil twilight - The Weakerthans
5. You won't find me - Amelia Curran*

1 comment:

Dups said...

Hard to write a comment after that :)

I had no idea what Melissa did for you and proves again she is a singularly amazing individual :) As are all my friends and yes I'm maudlin' Canada Day does that to me.

Thanks Craig, as you well know my friends (all of you) are the coolest people on the planet. Eight great years and more to come hopefully (if I don't fall off a mountain ;)

Have a safe and wonderful trip to Oz.