News

Wasn't that a party?

Vincent Ball

By Vincent Ball, Brantford Expositor

Dustin Caron was about as Canadian as one could be on Saturday.
How so?
Well, Caron could be seen carrying a hockey stick as he walked through the Steve Brown Sports Complex field during Brantford’s Canada Day celebrations.
He added a Canadian flag to the stick for emphasis.
But that’s not all.
He had a Canadian flag towel and he was carrying an empty beer cup with the Molson Canadian logo.
Oh yeah.
Caron had something else going for him. He had the Canadian attitude.
“So what was the best part of the Canada Day celebration?” Caron was asked.
“The rain, man. The rain,” Caron said. “It was awesome.I loved it. I took off my clothes and danced in the rain. Awesome.”
Presumably Caron kept on his shorts as Brantford police were not reporting any charges for lewd public performances on Saturday. Though they might have been able to lay a few public pot smoking charges had they been near the street side doors of the Lion’s Park Arena at about 4 p.m.
But getting back to Caron. He was there with his girlfriend Jamie Bergman and they were accompanied her dog Jaxon.
They were having a terrific time Saturday afternoon and they weren’t alone. Although the rain caused some people to move into the Lion’s Park Arena for a bit, there was still a large crowd outside for the live performances from a range of musicians, including Brad Roberts, The Northern Pikes and Teenage Head. They were followed by Junkhouse with Tom Wilson just before 8 p.m. and, the headliner, The Tea Party, prior to a fireworks display.
Caron, meanwhile, wasn’t the only one to enjoy the rain.
The precipitation forced many people to take refuge in Lion’s Park Arena where there were a number of booths, including those from the Brantford Library and the Great War Centenary Association. Both groups had more visitors than usual and had the downpour to thank for it.
Meanwhile, a few other local residents, including Shandee Montgomery and Brandon Comeau,  had more than Canada Day and Canada’s 150th anniversary to celebrate on the weekend.
Montgomery and Comeau were at Lion’s Park for the city’s Canada Day celebration but had to cut their visit short.
“I was in labour and I had started in the morning but it really wasn’t too bad,” Montgomery said. “All three of us – me, Brandon and Kane, 3, went to Lion’s Park to enjoy the day.
“I figured the walking around would be good for me.”
Joined by family and friends, Montgomery was in the VIP lounge for a rest when the contractions became more intense.
She got a ride to Brantford General Hospital and delivered a son, which they named Lucian.
“It’s really nice that he was born on July 1 because my poppa Alfred (Sunny) Lundy (who died last year) was also a Canada Day baby,” Montgomery said. “I was very close to my poppa.
“He was a very special man.”
Although Lucian was born on Canada’s 150th birthday, he wasn’t the first local child to be born on the historic occasion.
That honour belongs to Christian Lyons who arrived at 2:41 a.m. on Saturday. He is the son of Thalia Tangorra and Dylan Lyons.
“It’s a bit of a shocker,” Tangorra said on Sunday. “My due date wasn’t until July 10.
“But I started feeling contractions, then my water broke and well, here we are.”
To celebrate the occasion, the family was presented with special gifts courtesy of the Brant Community Healthcare System Foundation and the healthcare foundation’s Tim Hortons.
Meanwhile, live entertainment, the midway, vendors and demonstrations at Lion’s Park were just some of the of ways Brantford residents celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday.
Earlier in the day, more than 100 people gathered in Lion’s Park Arena to watch, what is to some, the highlight  of the day – a citizenship ceremony.
Citizenship Court Judge Donna Summerhayes, a Brantford resident and member of the Order of Canada, presided over the ceremony which welcomed 30 new citizens from 15 countries.
“You are now Canadian citizens,” Summerhayes said after the new citizens took the Oath of Allegiance and many other re-affirmed their loyalty to Canada.
Her pronouncement was followed by an enthusiastic and extended round of applause as families hugged each other in celebration.
“This is your Canada, the country that you chose to call home,” Summerhayes said.
Summerhayes was joined on the podium by her husband, Doug, also an Order of Canada recipient and a list of dignitaries, including Brant MPP Dave Levac, Don Spiece, who represented veterans at the ceremony, Lord Mayor of Brantford Walter Gretzky, Brantford Police Chief Geoff Nelson, and Brantford-Brant MP Phil McColeman.
“I’m so glad to see Mr. Spiece here on the podium,” McColeman said. “He’s here to represent our veterans, the people who gave up so much to save our freedom in World War 1 and to maintain it in World War II.”
Although Canada’s parliamentary system of government isn’t perfect, it is a system of government that provides for many freedoms, including freedom of religion and the freedom to chose our government, McColeman said.
Levac paid tribute to Pat Eyzenga, chair of the Brantford International Villages Festival, who attended the ceremony accompanied by this year’s village ambassadors.
He also paid tribute to the ambassadors.
“We are a beacon to the world,” Levac said. “Some people call our country an experiment. The experiment is over!”
“In Canada there is never an us versus them,” Levac said. “There is always us,”
Levac spoke on behalf of Brantford Mayor Chris Friel who was feeling under the weather and missed the ceremony.
Following the ceremony there was a lot of picture taking, congratulatory handshakes and hugs, as well as Canada 150 birthday cake served by representatives of the YMCA Immigrant Services. The day-long celebration ended with a huge fireworks display.
VBall@postmedia.com
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