Local writer welcomes new Canadians

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Every time I sing our Canadian National Anthem I get goose bumps all over especially on July 1st. 


Bill Wescott is pictured here, with the Town of Carbonear in the background.

Teary eyes were the order of the day on Aug. 17 during an emotional ceremony at Cupids welcoming 30 new Canadian citizens who were granted their Canadian Citizenship papers before a capacity crowd gathered at the Cupid's Legacy Centre.

Cupids Mayor Harold Ackerman, in his welcoming remarks noted that by coincidence back in 1610 thirty-plus sailors led by English explorer John Guy entered Cupid's harbour for the first time setting the course for the establishment of what was and still is English Canada's birthplace. 

A number of officials present

The ceremony on Sunday afternoon included participation by two Federal Judges from Nova Scotia, a member of the RCMP, Mayor Harold Ackerman, a representative from the provincial government and from the Cupids Heritage Society including chairman Roy Dawe.

A number of meaningful speeches were delivered by the honourable guests while spectators in attendance welcomed our new citizens with loud and sustained applause.As a welcome to our new citizens, gifts from our Federal Government were handed out. Each were presented with their long awaited Canadian Citizenship documents and special gifts including a one year free pass to our many national parks and museums in Canada and discount-certificates for travel anywhere in Canada.

Canadian flag hoisted

Following the official swearing ins a very moving ceremony took place across from the Legacy Centre. On cue from Ackerman and Dawe, they sang the anthem as they hoisted a huge Canadian flag to the top of the towering flag pole overlooking the historic harbour. There were tears of joy from a number of our new Canadians. I can honestly say that flag raising ceremony was one of the most beautiful things I ever witnessed. 

A chat with our new Canadians

During a meet and greet reception that followed  where a large crowd of well wishers had gathered, I had the opportunity and pleasure to chat with three of our new Canadians. Perhaps the most excited one I talked with was a lady from Beijing, China. This young woman left a city of over 21 million people to settle in St.John's with a population of about 140,000. Quite a big step but a leap of faith and a leap of joy for her. She was beaming as she watched the big flag being raised and afterwards posing for her picture with the Judges and the red suited RCMP officer.

A flee from Iraq

During coffee break I spoke to a member of a family of four who came here from Iraq. They are so blessed to live in this peaceful country far away from the violence and the danger of everyday life in a wartorn part of the world.  She spoke of the friendliness of our Newfoundland people. "It's like one big happy family here", she said. "We love it and we are glad and blessed to be here."

In closing I would like to congratulate all involved for a wonderful ceremony, especially Mayor Harold Ackerman and his committee who planned and organized the accommodations at the beautiful Legacy Centre for our special guests and our new Canadians.

It is nice once in a while to be reminded how very fortunate we are to live in freedom and peace in this great country of ours Canada. It is the greatest country on earth and I don't have to look too far for someone to second that for sure. 

Welcome to all our new Canadians.

— Bill Westcott lives and writes in Clarke's Beach.

Organizations: Legacy Centre, RCMP, Cupids Heritage Society

Geographic location: Canada, Nova Scotia, Iraq Beijing China Newfoundland

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Recent comments

  • breakforcoffee2
    August 22, 2014 - 19:47

    Yes, and tell our newly minted Canadians to leave their nationalistic prejudices, tribal wars, regional conflicts, and the like where they belong. So many of them tend to quickly forget their good fortune and start the same foolishness (i.e. Tamils in Toronto) that they left behind.

    • Bill Westcott
      August 26, 2014 - 11:01

      Breakforcoffee2 you badly need an attitude of gratitude towards these beautiful people. You comments are both arrogant and in my view unacceptable. I apologize on behalf of Canada to these wonderful people. I spoke with Doctors, Engineers, students and young married couples anxious to contribute greatly to this country. You should be ashamed for yourself.Your ego is clearly E- edging G-god O-out.

  • Don II
    August 21, 2014 - 10:29

    I wish to provide the following information in the public interest and to inform visitors and tourists of the historical facts regarding the Cupers Cove Plantation founded by John Guy in 1610. The Mayor of the town of Cupids is attributed as stating that John Guy entered Cupids harbor back in 1610. What factual historical information does the Mayor of Cupids base that claim on? The Historical Record of Newfoundland and Labrador contains 17th century letters, documents, maps and the Charter of the Colony of Avalon which clearly show that John Guy did NOT land at Cupids and did NOT establish a Plantation in Cupids in 1610! The letters, documents and maps in the Historical record of Newfoundland and Labrador confirm that John Guy did NOT mention or refer to a place called Cupids or Cupids Cove in his letters. If John Guy had been living in Cupids he would have said so in his letters. John Guy stated that he was writing his letters from Cupers Cove. John Guy did NOT mention a place called Cupids Cove in his letters! It is clear from the Historical Record that Cupids Cove and Cupers Cove were two separate places located miles apart in 1610. The 17th century maps and documents show that the Salmon Cove (now Avondale) referred to by John Guy was NOT the Salmon Cove that is located near to Cupids today. The Salmon Cove that John Guy referred to in his letter of October 6, 1610 was located near to Cupers Cove and was also a documented boundary of the Colony of Avalon. The Historical Record shows that the Cupers Cove Plantation was located inside the boundary of the Colony of Avalon. The Salmon Cove located near to Cupids was NOT part of the boundary of the Colony of Avalon and Cupids was NOT located near to the lands of the Colony of Avalon. The 17th century maps do NOT show a Salmon Cove located near to Cupids but the maps do show that Salmon Cove was located near where Avondale is located now. This means that John Guy landed at Cupers Cove and Salmon Cove which is now know as Avondale and did NOT land at Cupids! It appears that many people did not know that Avondale was originally named Salmon Cove and as a result incorrectly assumed that because there is a Salmon Cove near Cupids today that the town of Cupids must be the location of Cupers Cove. The continued repetition of claims that Cupids is the place where John Guy landed ignore the historical facts and promote a blatantly fictionalized history of Cupids. The Government of Newfoundland promoted the misinterpretation of the history of John Guy in Newfoundland. The Government of Newfoundland created the Cupids Cove Plantation Provincial Historic Site in Cupids despite the fact the Historic Record of Newfoundland and Labrador contains NO mention of a place called the Cupids Cove Plantation! Why did the Government of Newfoundland create a Provincial Historic Site to commemorate the Cupids Cove Plantation which is a place that is never mentioned in the Historical Record of Newfoundland and Labrador? The repetition of propaganda, myths, folklore and fictional history by the Mayor of Cupids will not change myth, folklore and fictional history into historical fact.

  • Judy Banack
    August 20, 2014 - 17:00

    I live in the USA and a couple of years ago I also witnessed over 300 being sworn in as US citizens they received little hand held flags and were waving them all around with big smiles--as we passed by we clapped and welcomed them too..not the nice ceremony you had for sure..I feel as you do that we are very fortunate to live in a country that isn't war torn and that we are free...thanks for the great article that makes me stop and be thankful..

  • Don II
    August 20, 2014 - 15:51

    The Town of Cupids continues to promote itself as the place where John Guy landed in 1610 . The Cupids Cove Plantation Provincial Historic Site was established in the town of Cupids despite the fact that the historical record of the Province Newfoundland and Labrador contains letters and documents which clearly show that John Guy never landed at Cupids in 1610 and which show that Guy never mentioned a place called Cupids in any of his letters. There is no mention of any place called the Cupids Cove Plantation in the historical record of Newfoundland and Labrador. It appears that the Town of Cupids is intent on repeating unproven claims, myths and folklore and promoting it as historical fact. Anyone who has objectively researched the historical documents and letters regarding John Guy`s arrival in Newfoundland would know that Guy did not land at Cupids and did not establish a Colony or Plantation by any name in Cupids! It appears that MHA Tom Hedderson was in Cupids recently with an envelope in hand to deliver the Crown Land Grant for the Pointe Beach to the Town of Cupids. It appears that a Crown Land Grant is required to allow the Town of Cupids to continue the operation of the Commercial Marina that the Town built on Crown land that the Town did not own at Pointe Beach and which was operated for two years without the permission of the Government of Newfoundland. It now appears that a Crown Land Grant for the Pointe Beach has not been signed, sealed and delivered by the Minister of Environment and Conservation to the Town of Cupids! There appears to be no shortage of misleading propaganda being circulated by or on behalf of the Town of Cupids.

  • Mark Noel
    August 20, 2014 - 14:38

    Well, I for one do not like new Canadians... truth be told, I can't stand the old ones! I don't even like Townies with summer 'omes 'round da bay... but dass juss me.

    • Bill Westcott
      August 29, 2014 - 07:53

      Mark Me tinks you are a wee bit negative. Need more sleep me son! Townies are keeping folks like you employed with all the $$$ they spend in these areas don't you think? Then again, your thinking is a wee bit off the rails from my viewpoint. Lighten up!! Smell the roses. Enjoy yourself...it's later than you think. Hug a townie today..

    • Former BAYWOMAN
      August 29, 2014 - 13:37

      Me thinks you hardly 'like' anyone...we are descendants from former new Canadians; so possibly, you don't even like yourself!