O Canada … think for yourself! Canadians are ready, willing and able to eat, drink and be merry, and celebrate the land that is the envy of…

O Canada … think for yourself!

Canadians are ready, willing and able to eat, drink and be merry, and celebrate the land that is the envy of all others, well almost.

Once the hooting, hollering, dancing and speechifying on birthdays is done, reflection is the order of the day is it not?

A man named Letourneaux, suggested: “Nationality does not reside, in our view, only in the distinctiveness of customs and manners, in language and religion; it is also to be found in a people’s history, in their legends, in their traditions, in their memories.”

Herman Trelle fits in that mix somewhere.

He was ‘something else,’ when it comes to growing wheat.

Between 1926 and 1934 his oats, rye, flax and wheat, won 135 international awards.

He won the world’s wheat growing championship at the Chicago International Grain Show so often that in 1932 he was barred from competition for four years to give other competitors a chance.

Herman farmed near Grande Prairie. He was obviously a leader in his field, a gold-medal producer of quality food products, a Canadian hero, whom our elite frequently lament we do not have — proving they’re looking in the wrong places.

My friend Kevin loved people like Herman. Kevin was an evangelist about contributing and producing. He drilled it into his 12 kids: “Produce something other people can use and appreciate — contribute!” It became a family mantra.

All 12 kids became “contributors.”

Too often, it seems, “individual contributors,” even the ultimate, like Herman, are shuffled to the back pages in favour of a continuing focus on celebrities of one ilk or another. Celebrities whose main purpose, and contribution, in life is themselves.

Herman and other “contributors” are those Canadian men and women we could not live without, though awareness and appreciation of their existence is occasional at best, non-existent at it’s worst.

Where would any of us be on the food and survival chain if it weren’t for Kevins, contributors producing and delivering goods and materials whenever and wherever needed?

Celebrities and other folk have been flocking like sheep to the cities for decades now. They’ve tipped the Canadian ratio to four urban Canadians to one country Canadian.

I take it that means one, single country Canadian needs to produce enough material to keep four urban Canadians fed, housed and watered in the style to which they’re accustomed.

In return, they manufacture the material into things we need, and want, sending the finished product back to keep us in our accustomed style.

The puzzle is they send the material we produce to other countries so other workers can make the stuff. An example of this global ‘efficiency,’ I’m told, is it makes sense to send fish from Newfoundland to the Far East for processing, and returning it for us to eat at our tables, eh?

Ah, that’s it, quality goes out the window, along with the jobs in Newfoundland, but the multinationals and their shareholders are happy, so all’s well that ends well.

To this country Canadian it makes about as much sense as Joe Blow’s dog. “He jumps into the river to get outa the rain,” Joe explained.

You don’t suppose, besides quality, there’s another weak link in this economic chain somewhere, which will, one day, crumble like cookies in milk do you?

Nah! It’s just like global warming — these past warm Yukon winters are just a figment of my imagination.

Hey, it’s Canada’s 139th birthday. Stop fussing, celebrate, multinationals and their shareholders will care for us. Happy Birthday Canada, eh?

A gift suggestion for our 140th birthday.  An announcement from on high telling us our leaders have worked together and are proud to announce the 700,000, or more, Canadian children relying on food banks on our 139th birthday go to bed with full stomachs, and a roof over their head on our 140th.

Now that would be an event every Canadian could tip their hat to, eh? … and the Fairy God Mother is coming to our house tonight with a bag full of goodies —  made in Canada of course!

And a big tip of a country Canadian hat to Herman and our continuing “contributors” keeping us living well in the land, which nurtures us all.