O Canada // A Tribute on Canada’s 155th Birthday

Whereas the Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick have expressed their Desire to be federally united into One Dominion under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, with a Constitution similar in Principle to that of the United Kingdom…

It’s been 155 years since 1 July 1867, when the Dominion of Canada was officially established—‘a mari usque ad mare,’ ‘d’un océan à l’autre,’ ‘from sea to sea.’

A Dominion with its name and motto taken straight from the pages of the Bible.

Et dominabitur a mari usque ad mare, et a flumine usque ad terminos terrae.
He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.

Psalm 72:8

9.985 million km² (3,855mi²)—the second largest country in the world. A country with rivers and desert, forests and prairies, mines and tundra, mountains and valleys, extending from the North Pole to Point Point Pelee, way down into Ohio, USA.

Canada. That name raises so many emotions.

O Canada! Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all of us command.
With glowing hearts we see thee rise,
The True North strong and free!
From far and wide, O Canada,
We stand on guard for thee.
God, keep our land glorious and free.
O Canada, we stand own guard for thee!
O Canada, we stand own guard for thee!

Canada—fortis et liber, “strong and free.”

Alberta

The history of Canada, what a splendid study it makes! We have had our faults, we have had our failures and mistakes and wrongdoing. Yet we have been strong. We have been brave. We have been true. We have been known for our peace, our protection, our love. We are yet known for our courtesy and kindliness, the greatest of all strengths. Canada, we have been through so much together. We can be strong. We must remain strong.

Canada—spem reduxit, “hope was restored.”

New Brunswick

Throughout our story, we have rekindled hope again and again. The settlers on the banks of the St. Laurence, clinging to the belief that they would escape death, live, have families, and build homes. The Loyalists, escaping the ferment of war, believing they could start life anew in on this fertile land. The Irish, wishing to escape the blight of Ireland and find a new home. The Europeans and Scandinavians and Africans, all alight with new hope in this new land of promise and opportunity. Canada, we were built on hope. Let us never allow our torch to flicker out.

O Canada! Where pines and maples grow.
Great prairies spread and lordly rivers flow.
How dear to us thy broad domain,
From East to Western sea.
Thou land of hope for all who toil!
Thou True North, strong and free!
God, keep our land glorious and free.
O Canada, we stand own guard for thee!
O Canada, we stand own guard for thee!

Canada—Nunavut Sanginivut, “Nunavut, our strength.”

Nunavut

The beauty of Canada is without question. The astounding change in terrain, each beautiful and wonderful in its own right, is breathtaking. The Rocky Mountains, that brought me to tears as I considered the majesty of a Creator who could speak and bring forth something so vast and grand and powerful. (How tiny you fee next to them, how powerless and finite!) The living skies of the prairies, so wide and blueblue—blue. (What great Hand spread a sky so vast it covers the entire world!) The Niagara Falls, those columns of white water plunging down the rocky cliff in a ceaseless roar. (Where did all that water come from?) The endless procession of evergreens and birches and other forests trees, growing from sheer rock. (How many are there?) The glories and power of the All-Mighty are lavishly and endlessly paraded before us, and we can draw strength and hope from the never-ending reminders before us of our Lord’s might and love.

Strength and hope combined create perseverance. It was the perseverance of brave men, women, and children that conquered our wilderness. Houses were cut from the forest, fields were carved out of sod, businesses were wrest from the rock, food was procured from the beasts of the land. The natural resources of Canada fed and housed her people from the first Native to now. Our land is our strength. Let us care for it and use it wisely.

Canada—ut incepit fidelis sic permanet, “Loyal she began, loyal she remains.”

Ontario

Our story is steeped in loyalty. The early French settlers, although thousands of miles from home, refused to forget they were children of “le Roy,” indifferent as the French kings were to this forgotten colony. Once their loyalty was transferred to England, they refused to rebel with their neighbours to the south in 1775, and again in 1812. They preferred war and siege to disloyalty, and proved their love by their valour. In 1867, we became a dominion under the monarchy. In 1919, we unofficially gained control over own own foreign policy, which became official in 1931. In 1982, we gained our own constitution. We are still part of the Commonwealth, and we are still loyal to our monarchy. Loyalty is a Canadian virtue celebrated in our past. Canada, do not discard it. We must remain loyal to each other.

Canada—je me souviens, “I remember.”

Québec

Is there time to repeat our history? Waves of newcomers, each carrying out the ceaseless story of mankind. From the Natives to the Danes, the French, and the English, all living off the land and its animals, fighting and killing each other, raising families and building homes. Then waves upon waves of other immigrants, Chinese, German, Swedish, American, Scottish, Haitian, Arabic, Cameroonian… each one seeking for a new life, a new home. Each one brought new faults, new problems, new sins, but also new visions, new strengths, new beauty. Remember your story, Canada. It is rich and brilliant and deep.

Canada—munit haec et altera vincit, “one defends and the other conquers.”

Nova Scotia

Outside the Supreme Court of Canada stand the statues of Veritas (Truth) and Ivstitia (Justice). Within our capital city is located our constitution, which guarantees the rights and freedoms of our individuals, yet considers the common good of our people. This land was built on Truth and Justice—the one which defends Right, and the other which conquers Wrong. We have strayed from this foundation in our history, and now, perhaps, more than ever, but, Canada, the foundation remains.

There is an old forgotten ‘Hymn for Canada’ written by Albert Durrant Watson and sung to the tune of the national anthem. One line reads thus:

Be ours a nation evermore 
That no oppression blights, 
Where Justice rules from shore to shore, 
From lakes to Northern Lights. 
May Love alone for wrong atone; 
Lord of the lands, make Canada Thine own! 

Canada—parva sub ingenti, “the small under the protection of the great.”

Prince Edward Island

Canada, we were a protective nation. You stood up for freedom and protection. You protested against evil and sent aid to the oppressed. Do not abandon this legacy. You pride yourself upon your equality and love. Let your great men protect your small men, let your great voices speak for the unheard. Take a stance for the vulnerable and needy. Spread your wings, Canada!

Canada—splendor sine occasu, “splendour without diminishment.”

British Columbia

Truly, Canada’s natural beauty is undiminished and splendid. Yet what kind of people inhabit this glorious country? Is it, as our French anthem describes, a people who knows how to bear both the sword and the cross, a people of valour and pride, guided by the Light and guarding their nation’s honour, enemy of tyranny and full of loyalty, keeping in harmony his liberty, full of faith and obedient to law? Canada! let our people’s splendour be without diminishment.

O Canada! Beneath thy shining skies,
May stalwart sons, and gentle maidens rise,
To keep thee steadfast through the years
From East to Western sea,
Our own beloved native land!
Our True North, strong and free!
God, keep our land glorious and free.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!

Canada—multibus e gentibus vires, “From many people’s strength.”

Saskatchewan

The diversity of our culture is a source of pride and pain to us. We brag of it some days and gripe about it on others. We have a huge diversity. Many cultures jostle each other in the street, many languages rub elbows in the homes. We are a people made of many peoples. L’union fait la force, as the old proverbs say—unity makes strength. Together, we can remedy failures, replace faults with virtues, bring dreams to life. Everyone brings something unique to the table, everyone has a point of view to be listened to, and in understanding each other and building bridges between each other, we can create better relationships, better communities, a better country. In our diversity we can have unity, and in unity there is strength.

Canada—quaerite prime regnum Dei, “seek ye first the kingdom of God.”

Newfoundland

This country is not the greatest. No country deserves that title. But it could be a great nation if only we all sought first the Kingdom of God. Seek not the treasures of earth, O Canada, the approval of men, the deceiving fruits of rebellion, the empty pomposity of Godless religion. Seek the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all other things will be added unto you.

Canada—gloriosus et liber, “glorious and free.”

Manitoba

Dominion of Canada, stretched from sea to sea, beautiful and rich in heritage and nature, may you always remember the words of your national anthem. Seek the Lord and His strength, and so He will keep you glorious and free in the glory and liberty that comes in Christ. Continue to stand on guard, Canada, against the pernicious and evil. May these words forever be raised from your people:

Ruler supreme, who hearest humble prayer,
Hold our Dominion within thy loving care;
Help us to find, O God, in Thee,
A lasting, rich reward,
As, waiting for the better day,
We ever stand on guard.
God, keep our land glorious and free.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee!

You may see this as the foolish, empty dreams and romantic visions of a young girl. But what if we all had this dream, this vision of a better, stronger, lovelier land…?

This Canada Day, may seeds be sown that bring that Canada to life.

Published by Katja L.

Hello! :) I'm Katja. I'm a Canadian bibliophile, book reviewer, writer, and child of God. I love too many things to name, but among them are chocolate, heirlooms, history, fancy handwriting, grammar & punctuation, laughter, tearjerking books, lists, organized bookshelves, pink roses, flowing skirts, hymns, and pretty much anything old-fashioned, beautiful, & classy.

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