The 142nd birthday of Canada (July 1st) has rolled around again, and it is raining with thunderstorms in Ottawa - but it's a birthday!
I remember when it was Dominion Day, for it was only changed to Canada Day in 1983, and it took a bit of getting used to the new name.
Typically, everyone has the day off, and although it is a day for picnics, and having fun in the great outdoors in the summer time, it is also a time to remember our ancestors - the French and Anglo-Celtic peoples who first came here in the 1600s and 1700s, and the hard times they had in making a life for themselves in an often unforgiving land.
We also remember the Irish Potato Famine Immigrants who came here in the 1800s, and what a difficult time they had settling in their new land; of the Eastern Europeans who, in a great way, settled and tamed the Prairie Provinces in the early 20th century with nothing more than hard work and an unswerving dedication; and of the Chinese, who came and developed the railway, and in so doing, opened up the West to the rest of Canada.
And, of course, all these new immigrants came and built upon a land originally settled by the Aboriginal peoples, who themselves came here thousands of years ago.
And to all the other immigrants who have come to Canada, and have found a home and prosperity here - welcome to Canada!
There are only eight more years before Canada's 150th anniversary, and I hear that planning for it has started already.
So Bonne Fête, Canada - Happy Birthday, Canada!