Monday, December 20, 2010
Canada House on Tafalgar Square. I should probably blog about that trip too, eh?
Somewhere in the further reaches of a Scots-infested island in Eastern Canada, the decision was made. Using an ostentatious feather plume pen that was used by Chevallier de Drucour to sign the surrender of Louisbourg in 1758, the nameless functionary filled out the form in front of him using the words originally composed by a commitee of Robert Service, Leonard Cohen and Margaret Laurence. He signed the paper in front of him with an ink made from material from the Sydney Tar ponds and juice from Joey Smallwood's greenhouse cucumbers.
The sheet of paper was then put aboard the fastest transport available, the original Bluenose, which had been recovered and from its resting place under the seas near Bermuda for just this purpose. Under full sail, it raced past Prince Edward Island, docking in Charlottetown only long enough to bind the paper in the remains of the ribbon that was cut to open the Confederation Bridge.
On arrival in Montreal, the paper was embossed with its official seal, which was made not of wax but of maple syrup and ashes from one of Réné Lesvesque's cigarettes. This was stamped with an embossed hockey puck still bearing the mark from Rocket Richard’s shot that won the Stanley Cup for the Habs in 1952.
From Montreal, the document was sent on to Ottawa, where it rested for three days in the foyer of the Parliament Building, under the gaze of portraits of Baldwin, Lafontaine and all of the Prime Ministers. After being photographed for posterity with the same camera Youssuf Karsh used to capture the image of a scowling Winston Churchill, it was sealed in the very envelope that carried the original British North America Act from Westminster to Canada.
Onward on its journey: the envelope and document arrived in Thunder Bay, Ontario, by the statue of Terry Fox. A smidgen of snow was taken from his curly bronzed hair and melted, and used to wet a small brush made from a beaver fur and the bone of a moose consecrated by a Cree medicine man. With that brush, the the glue was wetted and the envelope sealed.
Across the Prairies the journey continued, over rails laid by abused and fearful Chinese and past fields planted by hopeful Dukhobours, over the Rockies to British Columbia, where the stamp was applied using the very hammer that drove the last spike. Finally, it was put in the regular post, with a salute from a corps made up of drummers from Rush, the Tragically Hip, the Guess Who and Blue Rodeo. It has now arrived at the Canadian Consulate in Los Angeles, which has sent me a letter to let me know: Sana is now a Canadian Citizen. Huzzah!