Article by: Ken Marvell
In 1967 when Canada celebrated 100 years as a country, I turned 25 years old and the thought went through my mind, back then, that I was one quarter as old as Canada. Writing this now, I realized that as of my 75th birthday which took place on August 15, 2017, I became half as old as Canada, as we celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary.
I think of some of the changes in my personal life over the last 50 years and the following comes to mind; I got married, I became a father of three children and grandfather of five, I used to rent an apartment, now I own the house where I live, I was working and now I am retired and enjoy writing my memoirs.
Some of the many changes in Canada over the last 50 years, between 1967 and 2017 are:
– Liberal leader, Lester B Pearson was Prime Minister.*
– We used the 1 cent coin until 2013.
– The $1 paper bill was used until 1987.
– The $2 paper bill was used until 1996.
– Liberal leader, Justin Trudeau is the current Prime Minister.*
– The 1 cent coin is no longer used in Canada.
– Replaced by a metal coin called the Loonie.
– Replaced by a metal coin called the Toonie.
*Between these two prime ministers there were five sessions when the Progressive Conservatives were in power.
Canada implemented the Metric System in 1970. As a result, many of us had to learn a new system of weights, measurements, and temperatures and their corresponding symbols. We struggled with understanding the new temperature scale so that we could dress ourselves appropriately for the weather. 37 degrees F meant wearing winter clothes whereas 37 degrees C means bathing suit weather. Snowfalls were suddenly measured in centimetres not inches. For a while we didn’t know whether we needed a snow shovel or a snow blower. Speed became measured in kilometers per hour and with that change, we quickly had to know whether we were still driving within the legal speed limits. With gasoline being sold by the litre, we had to calculate the cost of filling our gas tanks. If prices increased by two cents per litre, that was similar to nine cents per gallon in the Imperial system.
A few examples of the differences between the Imperial System and the Metric System are:
– Temp. 32 degrees Fahrenheit (F) = 0 degrees Celsius (C)
– Measurements: One inch (1”) = 2.54 centimetres (cms)
– Speed: 60 miles per hour (mph) = 96.56/rounded to 100
kilometers per hour (kph)
– One gallon of gasoline = 4.546 litres
Other examples of changes from 1967 and 2017 are: In 1967 we relied upon newspapers and the radio to get most of our news. Now in 2017 many newspapers have closed down or are about to close down due to a lack of sales since we can access news instantly via the radio and the internet using our computers and mobile phones.
In 1967 vinyl records were the very popular means of listening to our favourite music. Since then, vinyl records were, for the most part, replaced by digital music which in 2017 can easily be streamed online via the internet. Recently, vinyl has been making a resurgence.
In 1967 the National Hockey League (NHL) expanded from six teams to 12 teams and now in 2017 there are 30 teams in the NHL with another team, The Vegas Golden Knights, being added to the league this year. In 1967 many households had a library consisting of the Encyclopedia Britannica which people used for reference. Today in 2017, with the internet, we can easily look up virtually anything we want to know about by clicking onto Google or Wikipedia.
In 1967 most shopping was done in person, at department stores like Eaton’s, The Bay, and Zellers just to name a few, but now in 2017, with computers in so many homes, online ordering from Amazon has cut into their business, forcing large department stores to downsize or close down entirely. Stores like Office Depot, Sears and Kmart, Macy’s, Target Canada and many more (Amazon.ca accounts for over 45% of all online purchases in Canada).
Trivia Question: In 1967, what was the most popular song in Canada? (See the answer at the end of my story.)
Back to the topic of Canada’s 150th Anniversary and what it means to me. With more information available to us thanks to in-depth journalism, which, as mentioned, we can readily access via the radio, television, and the internet, today we have a greater awareness of what our politicians are doing to us and for us, as individuals and as a country.
Although I don’t agree with everything that our political leaders and their parties are doing, I feel that Canada, in its 150th year as a country, is one of the best countries in which to live. We have freedoms, luxuries and liberties which many other countries would love to have.
Internationally, Canada is still highly respected and that helps us to have a say in various worldly matters. We are thought of as being decent, thoughtful and fair people, which I believe we are; and as Canada celebrates 150 years as a nation, I am pleased and proud to be a citizen of this great country.
The most popular song in Canada in 1967 was Bobby Gimby’s song, “CANADA”, written for Canada’s 100th anniversary.