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Governor General Roland Michener and Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau address Canadians in 1972

The Story

Canadians undervalue themselves. This is the message from Governor General Roland Michener on New Year's Day in 1972. In this CBC Radio clip, Michener speaks about an under-appreciated military and bountiful resources that are taken for granted. "We Canadians are too close to the woods to see the great trees of our forests," he explains. Prime Minister Trudeau's annual message, heard in the latter part of this clip, is one of praise for the country. But in true Canadian fashion, Trudeau offers it through the words of an outsider, Charles Dickens. 

Medium: Radio
Program: The Scene
Broadcast Date: Jan. 1, 1972
Speaker: Pierre Elliott Trudeau, Roland Michener
Duration: 11:02

Did You know?

• CBC Radio's The Scene was hosted by Pat Patterson and aired Saturdays mornings. Patterson was a long-time host for both radio and television, including the program Scan, a behind-the-scenes show about how CBC Television was produced, and Matinee, a women's radio program.


• Program notes for 1972's first episode of Scene said Patterson looked ahead to 12 months of covering music, movies, fashion, women's liberation and hockey.

• Among the show's regular guests were Bill Glassco of Toronto's Tarragon Theatre, movie critic Clive Denton, and Evelyn Roth on fashion trends.


• New Year's Day in 1972 fell on a Saturday. It ushered in the longest leap year in history. It was two seconds longer than usual. The extra seconds had been added to universal clocks that year, in June and in December because time calculation of the earth's orbit had been recorded slightly inaccurately.

• In 1972, the 12th man walked on the moon and U.S. presidential assistant Henry Kissinger announced that "peace [was] at hand" in Vietnam. In Canada, Pierre Trudeau began the year as the first prime minister since John A. Macdonald to have a child while in office. Justin Trudeau was born on Christmas Day 1971.


• Roland Michener was Canada's governor general until 1974. He was appointed in Canada's centennial year (1967), and presided over the first Order of Canada ceremony that year.

• Michener was known for his dedication to physical fitness and was an advocate of the government's Participaction program. Part of his exercise regime at the time (he was 71) was a daily morning jog.



Their Excellencies: Canada's Governors General Since 1952 more