Seven Wonders of Canada
Many of you took the challenge to name the Seven Wonders of Canada quite personally. In fact – lots of you nominated individual people as “wonders”. An array of famous Canadians were put forward for consideration – including people like artist Bill Reid, Pierre Trudeau, David Suzuki…. Then there were the not so famous – but still wonderful nominees – like these:
Roger Ball is an incredible person. For the last four decades, Roger has contributed to his community of Kelowna as a well-respected family doctor, a generous and caring neighbour, an awesome bagpiper, a friend, and reliable colleague. We sometimes roll our eyes running errands with Roger because he has to stop every two seconds to chat with someone he knows. When Roger’s family practice ran late it was because he was busy getting to know every little thing about his patients -- even about the country they came from. His genuine interest in their experiences is what makes him the amazing physician that he is. This year, my Uncle Roger was selected for the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons award of excellence but we knew he was excellent a long time ago.
Whenever Roger meets someone new, he always remembers their name. If they don’t speak English, he can usually summon up a couple phrases in their language no matter how obscure it is! Roger can build ice sailing boats, giant cedar strip canoes and tiny little intricate wooden knots. He knows how to pit and dry cherries, fly a kite, and fix a bicycle. He always has projects on the go, and he is always learning something new. He knows how to make old ladies and little tiny kids laugh and he can soothe babies too. He’s got enough information in his head to fill a library and yet he stills marvels at something like a spinning top. Roger played the bagpipes up and down the street for every birthday of my life, and even though I pretended to be embarrassed about it in my teens, I always love it!
In addition to being an excellent Uncle to my brother and me, Roger is an excellent husband to my Aunt Barb, an amazing dad for my cousins, a great brother for my dad, an awesome brother-in-law for my mom. I often think about Roger when I’m in a pickle and wonder what he would do. And when I call, he always has great advice for me.
Shelagh, you may be persuaded by sweeping landscapes and gorgeous mountains. I, however, can recognize a person as being just as wondrous. So I nominate my Uncle Roger Ball as one of the Seven Wonders of Canada. Canada sure is lucky to have him.
Billy Proctor is a fisherman, logger, builder, mechanic, conservationist, salmon hatcher and museum curator. His collection of beachcombing artifacts in the log museum he has built on place at Echo Bay commemorates the history of human settlement in the Broughton Archipelago. It includes copper noserings and washed up bottles, coins and pots, a forge, and parts of ships and farms. Billy has spent his life walking the shores and finally got his stuff organized in this tiny museum that sits beside his house and his boat repair palace. It's what his effort represents that makes Billy's Museum a wonder of the world--the enduring presence of human life in a remote and challenging environment, and one man's determination to honour both aboriginal and newcomer lives, with his own labour, humour and keen awareness of both the fragility and the durability of human and natural history, and how they intertwine.
I believe that the Canadian people fit the criteria of the Canadian Wonders. What contains more wonder, historical representation and inspiration than Canadians themselves? Rather than a fixating on a specific inanimate object, I would like to nominate a person who I believe represents the quintessential character of Canada. Strong and determined, intelligent and beautiful, dedicated and loyal, quiet and understated, yet full of purpose. Aren't these some of the best qualities of Canadians? I've held this person in wonder for over thirty years. I would like to nominate my wife, Glenda.