Montreal Daily Star, 1 July 1919, page 10

Margaret Currie’s Chats

No other day in the year should stand for quite as much to us as Dominion Day, and I often wonder if any of us appreciate it as its true value and make as much of it as we should.  How many of us know the words of “O Canada” and sing it with all the fervent spirit we can command?  Not very many, if we may judge by the few who sing it when it is occasionally played at one of the local theatres.

How many of us hang out our flags on Dominion Day, and how many of us know the history of Confederation?  How many of us spend our vacation and our vacation money in our own country?  How many of us thrill as we should to the thought that we are Canadians, and that this country of Canada is our heritage, the greatest, teeming-with-possibilities country to the world?

We are thoroughly British in one thing at least.  We are strongly inclined to self-depreciation.  We think every other country but our won has things worthy of praise. We women are especially guilty in that respect.  We talk of our new frock, shoes, or hat with much more respect if we can say it comes from Paris, London or New York, but if we had it made in Montreal – “oh, it’s just a rag.  A little dressmaker here ran it up for me.”

All of our young people have the idea that they must go away to make good.  Certain it is that our employers of labor have themselves to blame for that feeling.  It is the rare person who has sufficient patriotism to stay in Canada at a low wage when he knows he can sell his talents to a much higher bidder in the States, and when he knows that many Canadian employers will give a higher wage to the employee who has had American training.

It is one of the things that we must get together on.  Canada for Canadians should be a watchword for all of us.  We should feel that we must devote our talents and our energies to making Canada the most desirable country in the world to ourselves and to the strangers within our gates.  We must be sufficiently conceited to know that Canada is the brightest jewel in the Imperial Crown, and that we must never dim its lustre.

When we are away, we should set in that people may feel that Canadians are good people to know and to live with, when we meet people from other countries who are our guests, it is unnecessary to start a controversy to prove that Canada is a great country. We know it is.  We know what our men have done in the Great War.  We have official records to prove that our men were “there” all the time, all the way.  We went over the top all along the line – in men and in money.  Our pride in our heroes and their achievements is so great that we should feel noting is too much or us to show them that Canada is their home and that they have come back to a country that loves them and believes in them, and wants to help them in all the problems of the after the war reconstruction.

This is perhaps the greatest Dominion Day since Confederation, because it is almost identical with the signing of the peace after the most dreadful war in history, a war in which our men have taken so great and glorious a past.  Let us make it the dawn of a brighter era for Canada by our new and deeper patriotism.  Let us resolve that Canada’s future shall be a higher and more glowing purpose in every Canadian heart, that we may be worthy of the high place among the nations that our men have won for us.

Margaret Currie.