Happy BC Day everybody!
Счастливый День Британской Колумбии!
¡Feliz día de la Columbia Británica!
ਸ਼ਾਨਦਾਰ ਬ੍ਰਿਟਿਸ਼ ਕੋਲੰਬੀਆ ਦਿਵਸ!
In 1974, when the British Columbia Legislature established BC Day, the first Monday in August, as a civic holiday, I was busy making ports safe for L. Ron Hubbard and his Flagship “Apollo.” From 1975 to 1997, I was living in the US, rarely got back to BC where I’d grown up and had family, and had no real awareness of BC Day.
In 1997, I escaped from the US, although I tried for the next couple of years to get back in. Caroline showed up in Chilliwack in 2001. Like me, she had been born and raised in BC, had left to live in the US in 1978, like me because of Scientology, she had returned to BC, like me because of Scientology, and like me she had no clue about what on earth or Teegeeack BC Day is.
We had to escape from BC in 2002 to Germany where we hid out from Scientology’s agents and built our websites, and in 2004 we returned to BC, where we have lived ever since, and gradually accepted BC Day for whatever it is. The day is celebrated with different names across “most” of Canada. In Guelph, with no apparent tip of the hat to Ayn Rand, it’s John Galt Day; in Oshawa, risibly enough, it’s McLaughlin Day; and in Ottawa, correctly enough, it’s Colonel By Day.
The first Monday in August is probably a good time for a holiday and a long weekend. It’s right in the Dog Days, so it’s kind of perfect for lying around on shady porches, dreaming of triumphal rabbit chases through flower fields, inactivities that can be stretched into weeks with no sweat. Actually, “Dog Days” comes from the ancient Greeks who observed the heliacal rising of Sirius, the “Dog Star” at the nose of Canis Major, which signaled the start of the hottest days of summer. The Germans have something even better than Dog Days, Sauregurkenzeit, the Sour Pickle Period, where for weeks by general agreement nothing is done and there is nothing to talk about. BC Day fits right in.
Never mind. Crochet artist, stealth patriot, and best wife imaginable, Caroline has poured her love of beautiful BC into these exquisite crocheted dogwood flower pins or brooches. Not that long ago she graced Canada Day.3
I think I took one of these to Russia a few years ago, and successfully got it through the Сельское хозяйство, таможня, национальная безопасность и их водители такси. I have also worn her Dogwood boutonnieres, very unselfconsciously, when I’ve had to suit up, and I’ve given them away abroad and in BC.4
I remembered that my mother, who very recently passed away, had years ago acquired a few pieces of a Royal Albert Dogwood pattern, which I thought had long since been given away.5 It turns out, I discovered today, that my mom had given a cup and saucer to Caroline. What a BC Day!
Our provincial tree is the Western Red Cedar, which I hunted as a logger before the cult got me. Our provincial bird is the Steller’s Jay, named after German naturalist and explorer Georg Wilhelm Steller. Our provincial fish is the Pacific Salmon. Our gemstone or mineral is jade. And our provincial mammal is, really, the Spirit Bear, which could be Caroline’s future crochet project.6
- https://vancouversun.com/entertainment/festivals/50-things-to-do-in-metro-vancouver-this-b-c-day-long-weekend ↩
- https://www.chilliwack.com/main/page.cfm?id=9&Find=8&FindYear=2018 ↩
- https://gerryarmstrong.ca/happy-canada-day/ ↩
- This is the early BC Dogwood I grew up with: https://knottytrees.files.wordpress.com/2013/03/dsc_5807_1-480×358.jpg; https://picclick.co.uk/Vtg-BRITISH-COLUMBIA-Canada-Patch-Dogwood-Flower-163163648238.html#&gid=1&pid=1 ↩
- See https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/594078482/royal-albert-teacup-and-saucer-dogwood ↩
- http://outershores.ca/creature-feature-spirit-bears/ ↩