It’s the 150th anniversary of con-fed-er-eh-tion, everybody sing together . . .
– with apologies to Bobby Gimby
It’s also the first day since the 149th anniversary that I haven’t owed these pages any national treasures. As with any project, there is a strange mix of emotions upon completion: relief, satisfaction, incredulity, and what-the-heck-do-I-do-now-ness?
Before looking ahead, though, I thought I’d look back at the 150 national treasures that made the short list. Looking just at the people category . . .
- Singers, musicians
- Artists, videographers
- Writers, storytellers
- Soldiers, diplomats
- Business people, innovators
- Explorers, pilots
- Inventors, scientists
- Athletes, educators
- Physicians, researchers
- Actors, comedians
- Judges, commentators
- And one each astronaut, chocolate-making couple, fictional character, politician, and queen
. . . anyway, as I say, all this diversity put me in mind of another song.
We got cowboys, we got truckers
Broken-hearted fools and suckers
And we got hustlers, we got fighters
Early birds and all-nighters
And the veterans talk about their battle scars
Hmm, hmm, hmm I love this bar
Of course Toby sings only about people, not all the places and things that also make Canada worth celebrating. Even so, he’s bang on with the chorus.
I love this bar
It’s my kind of place
Just walkin’ through the front door
Puts a big smile on my face
It ain’t too far, come as you are
Hmm, hmm, hmm I love this bar.
I love this country: It’s my kind of place. It ain’t perfect — What country is? — but at least we can come as we are.
And as an indigenous person, immigrant, or descendant of immigrants, we can enjoy the national treasures as well as aspire to being one ourselves.
Although this series of 150 national treasures was undoubtedly one of the more ambitious sesquicentennial projects, a few other folks had good ideas, too:
And that’s not even trying to identify all the projects like the Vancouver Sun’s write-ups on 150 British Columbians.
One group is even looking ahead 150 years to 2167. I think I’ll pass on that . . .