This past Saturday, the London Free Press ran a wonderful Page-2 story highlighting the work of a group of dedicated volunteers who are leading this weekend’s Canada 150 birthday party in London. It was an impressive tribute to the Celebrates Canada team, who have served as the organizing committee for similar local Canada Day celebrations for the past eight years.
Obviously, this story, like the events themselves, reminded us all of how blessed we are to live in a country as great as Canada. Oh, sure we have our challenges. But relative to much of the rest of the world, we are very lucky to have and to hold the rights, freedoms and opportunities that come with our citizenship. It truly is a privilege to be Canadian.
The article also got me thinking about the abundance of incredible volunteers we have in London, who routinely and without condition, commit countless hours to causes throughout our city.
When I think about my own world and that of my family, I cannot help but reflect positively on the contributions of so many people over the years, including for example my son’s hockey coaches or my daughter’s theatre groups.
I also cannot help but feel a tremendous sense of pride when I think of the hours our police, fire and civic employees commit to volunteer-led initiatives in and around the city including today’s Torch Run.
Stories such as these also cause me to think about the extra hours offered up to: our students by our school teachers, the ill and infirmed by our hospital workers, and the hungry, hurting and homeless by an impressive network of dedicated social service organizations and charities.
I also think about the unsung work of: our service clubs in our neighbourhoods, the fundraising efforts of our business community, the welcoming programs of our churches and cultural institutions, and the extra hours invested by seniors and students to assist members of our community who may need a helping hand.
In my view, it is this commitment to community, to civility and to caring about one another, that is the true measure that defines us as Londoners and Canadians.
So, on this wonderful weekend of celebration, it is appropriate for all of us to take a minute to reflect upon, and where possible thank, all of the wonderful volunteers in our life.
They are without question, London’s most precious resource.