“O Canada, our home and native land ...”
Canada, this beautiful diverse country, is not the land of my birth, but I could not love it more if it was so.
I am proud to call myself a Canadian citizen. Yes, my Dutch background is still very important to me. It’s my heritage. My roots are in The Netherlands and draw me from time to time to revisit, but Canada is home.
Taking the Canadian Citizen’s Oath in 1960 made me an official Canadian, but I was already in love with this country of opportunity.
That’s why my parents chose to come here, far away from our homeland. Attending teachers college in North Bay made me determined to teach children about the wonders of Canada. I had books in the classroom about our country so they could read and look at pictures to broaden their knowledge of this vast land.
All of Canada did not look like their town of Creighton Mine. Making them aware of one of the wonders of the world, Niagara Falls, in our own province, was important.
Because of the sheer immensity of our country, most of us will only get to see snippets of various landscapes. The majestic Rocky Mountains, numerous glistening lakes, rivers and streams; the prairies give us an unending variety of scenery of the country where we are fortunate to live.
How many countries can claim to stretch from sea to sea to sea?
Canada is a democratic nation where all the levels of government are elected by its people without duress, free to vote however we want.
Tolerance is a hallmark of Canadian society. Immigrants are able to live how they want and maintain their own languages while learning either English or French, our official two.
We love sports of all kinds. Lacrosse is our national sport, but hockey is our obsession. It is played at the professional level, amateur level and on the streets.
Canada is home to me for the many reasons written above and many, many more. I feel fortunate that our parents chose Canada — this beautiful and bountiful land of opportunity.
Erna de Burger-Fex is a writer and retired teacher.