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October 3, 2021 - Double Holiday - Gathering of Thanksgiving

Sunday, October 3 falls between the dates of two official Canadian holidays: the newly legislated September 30 National Day for Truth and Reconciliation and Thanksgiving, the second Monday in October. While COVID denies us ICS's traditional Thanksgiving Dinner, a very simple gathering is being set up for ICS members and friends to reconnect and celebrate both Days. The new Canadian Ambassador to Ireland, Nancy Smyth and her and her husband, Lex Burger, are planning to attend and are looking forward to meeting those of you who are able to as well.

Canada's Parliament legislated the new Truth and Reconciliation holiday earlier this year to mark and never allow to be forgotten the more than 100 years of atrocious injustices borne by its Native Peoples, including Indigenous children at government-authorized, church-run Indigenous schools. It already has a nickname: Orange Shirt Day, a day that, unofficially until now, had become increasingly recognized at school and community events across Canada after an Indigenous residential school survivor shared her story at a 2013 Residential School Commemoration Project and Reunion event in British Columbia. On her first day of residential schooling at six years old she was stripped of her clothes, including the new orange shirt her grandmother had bought her, which was never returned. The orange shirt now symbolizes how the residential school system took away the Indigenous identities of its students and severely mistreated them. Parliament's marking the Day on September 30 signifies the time of year when Indigenous children were taken from their homes, sometimes forcibly, to residential schools. Its official tagline Every Child Matters reminds Canadians that all peoples' lives and cultural experiences are important.

The October 3 Gathering time is from 1:30 to 3:30. 

Some will want to bring a picnic; others will want to just visit.

Combining the recognition of the two dates will allow us all to be thankful both for the comforts we personally enjoy and for the fact that Canada's Indigenous have begun, especially the last three decades, to receive the recognition and redress they deserve for the atrocities they have suffered. It will also be a time to be thankful that the federal and provincial governments and, to a lesser extent unfortunately, the churches involved, have owned up to and have been backing up apologies for their wrongs with tangible measures of redress. The gathering will also be a time to quietly resolve, especially in light of the recently revealed hundreds of unmarked children's graves at Indigenous schools, that the governments and churches be made to continue their measures of redress to the fullest extent possible. What has been done to date already makes Canada an example for the many countries around the world where similar shameful injustices have occurred/are occurring but have not been owned up to and ignored or addressed with resistance, obfuscation, lack of transparency and minimal, if any, compensation, all of which serve the interests of the transgressors instead of those harmed and their families. But It will only be when Canada has taken every possible measure of redress that we can be thankful that it will deserve to be called THE model in respect of such inhumane transgressions.

The only requests of those attending this informal, no-charge gathering are to wear an orange T-shirt, shirt, jacket, jumper, as weather requires and to observe the COVID-19 rules then in place. ICS’s role is limited to sending this notice to its e-mail list. There will be no games -- no prize draws -- no refreshments -- and, accordingly, it will not be taking out the insurance that is required for the ICS Canada Day Picnic at Malahide Castle. Attendees will be solely responsible for their own safety and parents should keep a particularly close eye on their children at all times, including especially in the Park's playground and around its mini lake.

The grounds of Herbert Park, in Ballsbridge, are divided in two by a road. The Gathering place is on the south side near to the road. A bit further south there may be a Sunday market in operation and a bit further south from that there is a mini lake, with waterfowl. Across the street to the north there is a playground for youngsters and a coffee and snack shop. An Avoca and other Ballsbridge shops are nearby.   

We hope to see many of you -- in orange T-shirts, shirts, jumpers or jackets, as the weather dictates -- on October 3.
the ICS Leadership Group: Pat McDonnell, Dave Wilson, Shawn Day 



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