We are well into the Mayan prediction that 2013 would usher in a new age of co-operation and kindness so what better time to reflect upon our past.
Beginning with the tenth anniversary of I Love to Write Day started by John Riddle of Delaware, I began writing about all the reasons to celebrate the fact that the world did not come to an end on 12/12/12 the last time these numbers will ever appear again in the annals of time.
Most everyone was aware that last year was the 100th anniversary of the Titanic tragedy but who knew Oreo cookies had been around for a century! Coincidently ’12 was also the centennial for Girl Scouts and their cookies.
Where does the time go? Have I really been a Block Parent for 35 years?
Is Gunn’s Bakery really 75 years strong? Have I been buying lentils at Bulk Barn for 30 years? How many women have benefited from 20 years of the Look Good Feel Better Program? Have we really had a homeless shelter at Siloam Mission for 25 years? How could this be? Please, somebody tell me we haven’t been texting for 20 years!
My husband and I combined a staycation with some adventures on the road on our journey down memory lane.
While in San Francisco with our grandchildren I took many a photo of the Golden Gate Bridge’s 75th birthday after which we reminisced at the centennial of my husband’s childhood’s northern hometown, The Pas, MB. We drove to visit friends in downtown Transcona, MB home of the pink flamingoes and to Bausejour, MB to toast their century on the map.
A favourite trip was to Kenora, ON to partake in a weekend of festivities to mark the 50th anniversary of the MGB sports car and the 50th of the Triumph Spitfire which featured contests in honour of Queen Elizabeth’s 60th anniversary on the throne. It was also the 60th anniversary of the Winnipeg Sports Car Club.
We took the train out west, after we had our pictures taken under the 100th anniversary celebration banner at the VIA station. It was uphill both ways but we wouldn’t have missed a second of peddling along the highway between Haines Junction, Yukon and Haines, Alaska to cheer on our son when he cycled the 20th Chilkat International. That was before we drove to Penticton, BC to volunteer for the 30th Iron Man competition.
Sporting anniversaries in ’12 included the 25th anniversary of the Peter Gzowski Invitational, the 100th Grey Cup and the 40th of the Winnipeg Jets WHA debut as well as 100 years of throwing rocks at the Granite Curling Club.
A round of golf in the 25th Mr. Goodbear Children’s Hospital Golf Classic was in order for my husband on the 25th anniversary of his hole in one at Blumberg followed by a tour of five years of displays at the Buhler Gallery at St. Boniface Hospital and we toasted 30 years at Manitoba Health Research.
More cultural anniversaries included the 10th anniversary concert of Spirit’s Call Choir and the 10th decade of the Friends of the Winnipeg Public Library was certainly inspiring as was the 25th year of the Winnipeg Fringe Festival and the 40th anniversary Winnipeg’s Prairie Theatre Exchange.
We marveled at he 40th of PlugIn Gallery, hummed along at the 90th of the Winnipeg Philharmonic in which my mother-in-law loved to sing. Our nephew, Jason, made the 65th year of the Winnipeg Symphony extra special for us. The 25th year of the Manitoba Chamber Music Society was also a pleasure. My husband particularly enjoyed the 75th anniversary of The Bothwell Cheese Co., a major cultural event in his opinion.
We renewed our recycling vows on the 10th anniversary of Waste Reduction Week in Canada. We felt spiritually energized by going to the University of Manitoba to marvel and meditate at the King James Bible on the occasion of its 400th year in existence. Friends and I thoroughly enjoyed the only Canadian showing of the Norman Rockwell exhibit in celebration of the 100th year of the Winnipeg Art Gallery. That same day we walked to the most famous corner in Canada and tried not to get ourselves killed at the intersection of Portage Avenue and Main Street in Winnipeg as we cheered its 150 years of traffic.
Waving to friends in the 25th Pride Winnipeg walk was an honour as was supporting the 5th anniversary of Grans n’ More in this city. As parents and educators we value the 100 years of Parent Councils in Winnipeg. One of us is pleased FemFest has been around for 10 years while the other appreciated the 75 years of service by the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association and we both saluted 100 years of service by the Winnipeg Jewish Social Services.
The newspaper that arrives daily at our door was 140 years old in 2012 and The Winnipeg Press Club was 125. In recognition of the 30th anniversary of the Manitoba Writers’ Guild I decided to read homegrown authors. To augment all that talent we took our beloved friends’ daughters to the 30th anniversary of Kids Fest.
Then it was off to borrow a girlfriend’s Mr. Potato Head because he turned 60 right in the middle of the 500th episode of the Simpsons.
Other milestones I felt compelled to commemorate included rereading Great Expectations on the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens, kicking up my heels for 80 years of Radio City Music Hall, and watching old movies in honour of 100 years of Paramount Pictures. This popcorn blitz started with the 50th anniversary of Lawrence of Arabia and ended with the 50th anniversary of the Man with the Midas Touch. Goldfinger, not my husband.
While it wasn’t possible to attend every cause for celebration in 2012, we managed to reminisce and about a plethora of things that had touched our hearts and lives over the years. For old times sake we bought a 649 to acknowledge 30 years of wishing. We got political and reflected on 40 years of the Free Trade Agreement, and the 20th anniversary of the election of Susan Thompson, Winnipeg’s first female Mayor.
It was 50 years ago that the Rolling Stones first performed and it was the 50th fete for Shopper’s Drug Mart. We filled up at the gas bar on the 75th of the Red River Co-op, got bonus Air Miles on their 20th and were on the road again for the 50th of the TransCanada Highway to Lower Fort Garry to be historically correct for the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the Selkirk Settlers; then we watched for moose on the 50th of the Canadian Wildlife Federation.
Always one to party hearty my husband noted that despite extreme provocation we had been together for forty years. Actually I thought he was going to say it was the one-millionth anniversary of me telling him to pick up his wet towels from the bathroom floor but I was mistaken. We were high school sweethearts and 2012 was the 100th of my alma mater, Kelvin High School. We ended 2012 at the 25th Festival of Trees and Lights. What a year that was.
For 2013 I think I have but one item in my daytimer, namely the 40th anniversary of Canada’s best and biggest time in a bottle experience, The Winnipeg Folk Festival.