Memories of a very special Canada Day

Submitted by David W. Jones – 

I’m a visual artist and live in the Civic Hospital area. When I was 12 years old, my parents took me to Parliament Hill on July 1st to witness the Centennial Day events. Even at 12, I was already producing oil paintings, watercolours, and also dabbling in photography with my trusty “Kodak Instamatic 124 camera.”

The photo with the old Train Station & the huge Centennial stylized maple leaf above the main entrance door was taken as the Queen’s modern-day Landau was arriving at the Hill. The close-up photo of the Queen & Prince Philip was taken as they departed (note how close I was to them…no zoom lenses on Kodak Instamatics)!

Notice that, in both photos of the Queen & Prince Philip, the Queen appears to be waving to ME!

This image is of the “Birthday Cake” on the Hill. I recall that the bottom layer was real white/vanilla cake. My parents let me go take a closer look and I returned to them with a chunk of cake, and the plastic forks, to share.

You can see how “packed” the Hill was on July 1, 1967.

At the time, I was attending Pleasant Park Public School in the Alta Vista area. A Toronto trumpet player named Bobby Gimby, wrote the popular song called “C-A-N-A-D-A” which became the celebration’s “Theme Song.” He was hired to play this song on Parliament Hill, that day, as if he was the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Children, instead of mice, followed him around as he played. It was the Pleasant Park Public School choir that got the job to follow him around like singing mice. I didn’t make the cut because my voice had already started to change.

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