Harrison Happenings: Our Canada Day in retrospect

Tradition of musical mayors lives on

Two weeks ago I happened to watch Shaw reporter, Tiffany Gurden, asking people if they knew how old Canada is and who our first Prime Miister was. Few did, but I am happy to report that I would have known, mainly because I was around when we celebrated our 100th birthday in l967.

However, whether we know these dates and names or not, we all feel like celebrating when it comes to Canada Day, and rightly so. Who would not like to live here and be part of it?

For myself, this Canada Day started the day before with an invitation to dinner at our newest seniors’ care centre — Cheam Village. It was a great beginning! The food was delicious and the atmosphere, with children of different ages attending, had the air of a family gathering. I was happy to see my former neighbors, Jenny and Frank Peters, as well as former fellow chorister for many years, Lili Ezitis, who live there.

The next morning, Canada Day, I was part of a small contingent of the HHS Multicultural Choir who met in Agassiz to sing the anthem. To be in Agassiz for the “Raising of the Flag” is always a pleasure.  here was, of course, a full day of events there and, I am sure, it was great fun. We, however, went to Harrison Hot Springs to sing the anthem there as well. Here, we were led in singing by former mayor, Leo Facio, who has a beautiful baritone voice, as well as by another former mayor, John Allen, who is well known as a tenor.

It occured to me that Harrison has a history of mayors with great voices including Don Ramsey, a professional pianist and singer, who tragically passed away far too early. I would not be surprised if our current mayor, Ken Becotte, has a great voice, too. I have to find out because our choir is in desperate need of male voices and, besides, we cannot break the tradition!

Harrison Hot Springs, of course, is one of the hot spots in B.C. when it comes to Canada Day celebrations. A full program starting in the morning with a well-visited pancake breakfast hosted by the HHS Fire Department, marriage vows at the Plaza, a “Harrison Historical Walk”, children’s entertainer Mark Wolfe, speeches by Mayor Becotte and Sts’ailes Chief Willie Charlie, the flag raising itself and three large birthday cakes being served, would already be hard to beat. But, on it goes with children’s games on the beach organized by Mario and Julie Macciotti and a small group of volunteers who have done this for many years! Then there was entertainer, Todd Richards and the Treble Hook Band, dancing in the plaza and a joyous street parade. The day was finished off with the Yacht Club’s lighted boats Sail Past and the great finale, the fireworks.

To participate in all these events seems to be almost impossible, but I bet some do!. And, besides, it is great to have so much to choose from; there surely is something for everybody. But to organize a Canada Day like this is very tough and we all should congratulate the organizers. They were acknowledged  by the Village in the July 7 Observer. We agree that they did a great job!

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