Lately I have begun to reflect upon the impressions I had when I first arrived in Canada in 1956, a time of great optimism coming out from the hangover from World War 2. As a child the first thing I needed to do was to find some kind of connecting symbol that bridged this new world with the Britain I had left behind. I stood in the Peace tower of the parliament buildings of Ottawa and scanned the skyline. I soon spotted what I needed. The crenellations of the old Museum reminded me of the old buildings and castles of the country I had left behind. I was now ready to embrace this new land.
What was immediately apparent was how tied to the wide open land Canada was. It seemed all of my friends had grandparents still on the farm. They had cottages in remote areas and their fathers hunted and fished. In each classroom of our school hung prints by the Group of Seven. In Britain I had been imprinted by the posters used to attract immigrants: pictures of moose, grain fields, mountains and wide open skies. I was not disappointed in what I found this new country to be.
I would like to say I am confident that these qualities Canada was known for would last forever. Now I am seeing more wilderness being impacted by our modern technological society. I feel a sadness for what is being lost, but also hope that we can retain a balance and fairness with how we deal with 'development' and the land and it's inhabitants who are being affected.
This is an homage to the Golden Spruce, a tree venerate by
the peoples of Haida Gwaii.that was cut down by a misguided disenfranchised logger.