LETTER: New Years Day at Government House a moment of optimism

I was one of the many hundreds of people who partook in the New Year’s Day Levee this year at Government House. It is always a treat to be invited as members of the public to explore the lovely ballroom and the delight of personally shaking the hands of our ever changing lieutenant–governor.

It was not the fabulous decorations, nor the beautiful architecture though, that made a lasting impression on me this New Year’s Levee however. It was the Lt. Gov. Janet Austin’s speech to us in the audience. She embraced the truth and reconciliation process, reminded everyone there to support the homeless, Our Place and always be working against social injustices as she had done through out her entire career.

Lt. Gov. Austin also reminded us of the intelligence of our Queen Elizabeth and her true dedication to her lifelong roll as monarch. With the mention of England’s parliamentary system she reminded us all of the fragility of the democracies of the world and we as Canadians must be mindful of the dangers of taking for granted the democratic rule we enjoy here in Canada. She never mentioned south of the border but she did not have to. The speech was followed by Rose Henry joined by the audience in a ceremonial chant on behalf of women warriors past and present. It was truly moving and warmly embraced by all in the room.

This New Year’s Day spent at Government House I came away with a renewed sense of opportunity for Canada to continue to show the world how and why our country with our morals, ideals and our social empathy, continues to be the envy of many. Also, the visit was a stark reminder that freedom and democratic rule must not be taken for granted by us Canadians.

Rachel McDonnell

Oak Bay

Just Posted

Province announces more improvements for Highway 14

$85-million project made possible through federal funding support

Wild Wise Sooke founder leaves post

Lush Cosmetics offers much-needed funding for the group

UPDATED: Police investigating possible link between shooting and crash in Langford

One person in custody, another driver fled following crash on Kelly Road

Oak Bay double murder trial enters second week

Defence continues to question police handling of crime scene

Highway 1 just south of Malahat Drive to see lane expansion

Langford stretch between Leigh Road and Westshore Parkway will see additional lane and median

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Pug life: B.C. town boasts waggish list of dog names

Freedom-of-information request lists most ‘pupular’ dog names registered in White Rock

VIDEO: Duncan-Nanaimo’s Funkanometry bow out of ‘World of Dance’ with ‘After Hours’ routine

Judges praised them as entertainers, and urged them to work a bit more on their dancing

VIDEO: Fish farming company launches $30-million vessel to treat salmon for sea lice in B.C. waters

Freshwater treatment an improvement but fish farms should be removed from sea, says conservationist

Singh says childhood abuse steeled him for scrutiny and stress of politics

He recounts the assaults for the first time in his book Love & Courage

Most Read