2021 Alternative Canada Day Picnic 'Gathering' Report
COVID-19 pandemic made it impossible to have a full-fledged ICS Canada Day Picnic in 2020 and 2021 but by 2021 something simpler and safer was thought possible. The need to be simple and unofficial was underscored by recent revelations of the discovery of hundreds of unmarked Indigenous children's graves at Canadian church-run Residential Schools that they were forced to attend -- schools the Canadian Government had established more than 100 years before to wipe out the Indigenous culture and heritage: cultural genocide. Throughout Canada and around the world, flags were flown at half-mast at government and other buildings and embassies and Canada Day was marked with quiet contemplation.
The newly arrived Canadian Ambasador to Ireland, Nancy Smyth, and her husband Lex Burger were invited to attend a low key, informal ICS post-Canada Day get-together ICS was arranging in Dublin's Herbert Park on Sunday, July 11. Unfortunately, after a month and a half of nice summer weather, Mother Nature chose to send rain on the appointed day and only a few of those expected to attend did so. But, sheltered under trees they were well rewarded by the opportunity to meet and have good chats with Nancy and Lex who are in the centre of the accompanying get- together picture -- she's wearing a white coat; he's beside her wearing in a red jacket.