A Holiday Message from the Hon. David C. Onley, O.Ont., Lieutenant Governor of Ontario
TORONTO, Dec. 25 /CNW/ - 2008 has been an eventful year for many Ontarians and in many ways an historic one for our nation. The spillover effect of the circumstances surrounding the international economy has created an atmosphere of great challenges and a time of uncertainty.
However, we can all take comfort in the certainty of Christmas as a time of renewal, hope and good will. It is a season where Christians celebrate the birth of the Christ child, where the message of the Christmas story is one of persevering against daunting odds and looking for comfort in the support and assistance of others during a time of need. This message of 'being there' to sustain and to assist each other, especially during difficult times, is one that is common to all major religions.
And it is a time to celebrate this extraordinary season with a sense of hope and optimism because we are fortunate to live in a province and a country where we look out for each other, with care, generosity, and openness of mind.
I look back on this year and remember many remarkable people, touching moments and meaningful experiences.
In April, and again in August, I travelled to Petawawa, to bid farewell to Canadian troops being deployed to Afghanistan, leaving families and friends behind, bound for a dangerous mission. We honour the memory of those who gave their lives in the service of their country and in making a difference in a distant part of the world. We will remember them. We will also recall that they are part of a great tradition of serving our country, from the time of the War of 1812 and in subsequent theatres of war, that have had a lasting legacy of admiration and respect.
In September I lead Canada's delegation to the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing, China, in place of the Governor General. I was deeply impressed with the courage, the skill and the outstanding achievements of our Paralympians. Back home, I hosted a reception to honour Ontario's athletes and told them how proud we all were of their achievements.
In the Fall, Ruth Ann and I travelled to London to be presented to The Queen. We noticed that Her Majesty wore a beautiful maple leaf brooch, which she explained had been one of her mother's favourite pieces. Our trip to Buckingham Palace reminded us of our profound ties with Canada's Monarch.
At this special time, my wife, Ruth Ann, and I extend a warm invitation to join us at the Lieutenant Governor's New Year Levee. This year, we will be holding the Levee in Peterborough, in the City Hall, on Thursday the first of January, between 10:00 a.m. and 12 noon. We look forward to meeting many of you there.
In the meantime, as The Queen's representative in Ontario, I wish you and your families a very happy Christmas season.
For further information: Ms. Nanda Casucci-Byrne, Office of the Lieutenant Governor, (416) 325-7780