October 29, 2001
The following story was written by Ching Liu for the English as a Second Language (ESL) Class at Cypress Hills Regional College in Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Every year during the Citizenship Week in October, they discuss Canadian government in the class. This year, when they heard that the Governor General would be in town on September 19 and she would be meeting the public, they decided to attend the public ceremony. This gave them the opportunity to meet her personally and talk to her. It was a very special occasion for most students, since meeting the head of state or any important dignitary of that stature is often unthinkable for them in their native country. The students were very thrilled to meet the Governor General. They wrote about their visit in the next class.
The fall days are beautiful. To add to the beauty of fall, on September 19, 2001, Governor General of Canada, Adrienne Clarkson and her husband came to Swift Current. The reception was scheduled from 4:00 to 6:00pm at Memorial Park. The citizens of Swift Current were invited to meet her and her husband at that time.
The Governor General and her husband came to the park by a horse-driven carriage. People stood in line to shake hands with her one by one. She talked to the children with a smile. We, the students of the ESL class, got together to meet her as a group. The Governor General asked if we lived in Swift Current and where we were from. Bula, the teacher of our class, told her that we were from different countries. Anna told her that her family lives on a farm, out of town. I asked her whether she could speak Mandarin and she told me that she couldn't speak Mandarin but she could speak Cantonese.
The youth choir, senior choir, the dance group and Comprehensive High school Symphony performed at the park. The Governor General planted a tree in the park and she gave us a very welcoming, cordial and enthusiastic speech. It was a great honor to meet her and her husband.
Later, we had Saskatoon berry tarts and coffee. Although the weather became cold after a while, the reception was very warm!