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Letter: As an immigrant and a person of colour, governor general’s investiture was historic

‘It was one of those days when I felt the rightness of choosing Canada as my new home’
Governor General Mary Simon.

The investiture ceremony of the new governor general of Canada on July 26 was a display of magnificence of elegant simplicity at its historic best.

From the moment Governor General Mary Simon walked into the Senate chamber until Prime Minister Justin Trudeau signed the document, about 26 minutes later, I could barely contain my tears of ecstatic joy. Just as the prime minister sat down to sign, I completely broke down. 

I hope you understand the emotional expression of a person who uprooted his roots from the spawning ground and replanted them in a great country.

The ceremony, self-consciously, was an attempt to honour one of the First Canadians. It was also a recognition of contributions by an individual. More importantly, what needs to be acknowledged is the ability, willingness, and readiness of descendants of Euro-colonialists to make amends for the sins of their ancestors. The measure of a great society is to recognize past errors and take steps, however symbolic and modest they may be, to remedy them. 

To that extent, the July 26 investiture ceremony will live on as a day of historic benchmark in the challenging ascent to create an ever more perfect society.

That Canadians gave their allegiance to a leader who reached into the deepest recesses of their decency and acted with courage is the ultimate tribute to both the prime minister and Canadians at large. It was one of those days when I felt the rightness of choosing Canada as my new home when I had a choice to move to a beautiful European country.

Forgive me for making the following observation. Canadians, generally, envy the ceremonial spectacles of Britain, France, and America. I invite every Canadian to compare the moving investiture ceremony in Ottawa with any spectacle anywhere and explain to me why Canadians feel the need to envy any other ceremony. 

At 80 years old, I have seen my share of ceremonies in the world. This is no idle puerile patriotism but a simple observation.

Narasim Katary