NOVEMBER 4, 1995… It is early on Saturday, and I am out early for my morning walk.
The air is cool and damp with definite warnings of Winter to come. I am out for my morning ritual walk, around the Birch Haven, suburb of North Bay Ontario area.
My feelings are joyous..I am relieved ,no, I am concerned; and the calmness and mistiness of the air brings about a desolate feeling in my heart… I really don’t know how I feel. My mind is racing over the series of events, particularly the most recent ones, which have taken place during the past week in our country. A happening of such significance! We could have been in the beginnings of major changes in our country.
The Quebec Referendum vote, of October 31, 1995 is behind us… !..?
My roots in Canada are deep. Born March 12, 1945 in Timmins Ontario. I am third child in the family, with one older brother and sister, one younger brother, and three younger sisters. My father, Adelard Chiasson, was born in the French Acadian village of Tracadie Nouveau Brunswick, and my mother, Regina Hache, was born not too far from there, in a small village, or community, of Paroise de St. Isidore, Nouveau Brunswick. They met in Montreal Quebec during the 30’s. Mother was a waitress in a restaurant in Verdun and dad was delivering produce for a local transport company. They married in Tracadie N B and then moved to Timmins Ontario to begin their lives together.
I have given much thought during the past three months to my childhood upbringing in Timmins; to my growing up and learning years. To my working career, which had me working in all of the major cities across Canada. My family. my friends and relatives, teachers, business associates, priests, Canadian Companies I worked for the mosaic that helped bring about this person, and the gradual molding of myself.
Growing up in Timmins amongst family, relatives, and friends, was a complete French upbringing. That was school, church and all surroundings. It was when the family moved to Toronto in 1958 that I realized that I need to learn English. After finishing grade 7 and 8 at Sacre Coeur, a French Catholic school, in Toronto, and was then thrown to the wolves… Learn English, if not, then parish I thought.
I am a bilingual Canadian!
Note..more to come!
No doubt the series of events in Canada during those last three months have caused many of us to reflect.
Prime Minister Jean Chretien and the rest of the politicians have been mangled between legislative rulings and diplomacy, while different social groups have been airing out their concerns.
Our country belongs to the people,,and it’s ‘the people’ from October 27th to the 30th 1995 that made the difference on what the vote of October 31st was going to be… Oui or Non!
How can an outsider help to keep his country together?