Canada 1967 - Happy Birthday

Published in the 1967 Volume XXVI (1) issue of Icelandic Canadian on the occasion of Canada’s Centennial year

The last tick-tocks of Canada’s first century sound in our ears and warn us of the closing hour.
The moment of the full and completed circle is at hand.  While eternity hides in strange and unknown silence, marking man’s petty hustle-bustle the world of touch, of feeling, of right and all reality rolls on.  Bur today the measurement of hours, months and centuries is our amusement.  We have now our excuse to celebrate, raise a clamour and a shout, ring the rusted bells and shoot off the dazzle of fireworks to remind ourselves of mortality and the horror of our perishability.  Now we can try with noise and feverish activity, to immortalize our earthy existence and grasp something lasting and eternal while we yet have our life and our will.
So the whooping and the joy of our Centennial is for us all: the toddlers, fresh faced and wonder full-blooded and untamed will inject their enthusiasm into all their activities, their life-drives and their serious foolishness. They will know that they are pent and teeming with their new power and that this Canada lies like a ripe watermelon patch for them to pick and feast upon; and they, when they should and cheer and clap their hands will sense the measure of a heritage they soon will clasp and fill. Those few who hold the reins of power – the teachers, the men of business, the mayor and his always-so-merry men, the bankers, traders and all who give the nod and raise the warning finger, they will try hard to compete with the youth, knowing with a deep-hidden, deep-hearted, yet utter certainty that time has turned against them, and they have struggled up the mountain of life only to begin to slip down the other, less precipitous side. Only some of the old will wave their flag with peace, resigned to the imminence of eternity and surrendered to the dogged stalk of time.
And what are we celebrating, do you ask? Confederation’s one hundred years. July 1st, 100 years ago Canada became a county, a union of provinces. And why the jubilation? What is 100 years? Perhaps in God’s eyes, it is only a moment, yet to us and to the world it is our own span of peace, reason and godliness, an era in which man, the savage proved he could be man, the godly, the divine, the paragon of all; proved he could in spite of the mingled pettiness and meanness, maintain a place where liberty and right and free will could flourish.
That is why we are shouting.  It is our way of thanking ourselves and our forefathers for the freedom we cherish.  So we shout because we are free and we shout because in this way we can remind ourselves that we are real, that we can exist and that we are part of the glorious experiment called democracy. We shout because at each milestone of history it is good to be able to say to oneself “I was there”.
So thrice bless you Canada, Sweet Mother of Liberty, yours has been a noble experiment in time.