OK, OK, we call it “Canada Day” and “Fête du Canada” now, but until 1982, in other words, for more than half of my life ~ the first, formative half ~ it was Dominion Day and it celebrated the day, July 1st, 1867, when, by an act of the British Parliament in London, the self-governing provinces of Canada (Upper and Lower, now Ontario and Québec), New Brunswick and Nova Scotia (New Scotland) were united into one Dominion ~ a ‘new’ word that officials had to think up to describe this new creature which was a self-governing country that wasn’t, quite yet, a kingdom, in its own right, nor a republic. The new Dominion has still tied to London for many things, including the right to appeal Canadian court decisions to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in London, and remained so until the Statute of Westminster (1931) put some legal muscle on the skeleton of the Balfour Declaration (1926) which recognized that the Dominions were in every way equal to the “mother country” and that no British law, no act of Westminister parliament applied to Australia and Canada and New Zealand unless they specifically asked that it would. Anyway, all that being said …
… Happy 152nd Birthday (bigger and better) Canada … from coast to coast to coast!
It is, also Memorial Day in Newfoundland and Labrador, a day to remember the sacrifice of the men of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment who were almost wiped out at the Battle of Beaumont Hamel on July 1st 1916, the first day of the awful Battle of the Somme. According to the available records, 22 officers and 758 other ranks were directly involved in the fighting. Of these, all the officers and slightly over 650 soldiers were killed or wounded. Of the 780 men who left their trenches only about 110 survived without wounds, and only 68 of them were available to answer the roll call on the following morning. Few units, in any armed force, anywhere, have ever sustained such dreadful casualties and then been reconstituted to fight again as the Newfoundland Regiment was and did.