Remarks to the 10th Annual Robbie Burns Night Hosted by The Irish Club of Mississauga
Good evening, everyone.
As Mayor, it is an honour for me to join with The Irish and The Scottish Clubs of Mississauga – to celebrate your 10th Annual Burns Night.
Next to St. Andrew and William Wallace, Robbie Burns is arguably Scotland’s favorite son.
But I don’t want to stir that debate this evening!
One thing we can all agree on is that you do not need to be Scottish to know the timeless poems, folk lyrics and other classic literary pieces, of Robbie Burns.
Let me recite the ever so popular stanza from his poem – A Red, Red Rose:
O my Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June;
O my Luve’s like the melodie
That’s sweetly play’d in tune.
People in countries around the world continue to cherish his work and his memory.
For Canadians, Robbie Burns Night is an opportunity to remember, reflect and embrace the timeless contributions Scottish-Canadians have made as nation builders.
This month we celebrated the 200th birthday of Sir. John A. Macdonald.
Born in Glasgow, Macdonald was a founder of Confederation. And our country’s first prime minister.
When the people of Canada decided they had enough of Mr. Macdonald, they heeded the advice of Robbie Burns who once said: There is no such uncertainty as a sure thing.
So when Canadians opted for change, we didn’t stray too far.
We went with a sure thing.
And we turned to another Scotsman – Alexander Mackenzie of Logierait – to lead our country.
In Mississauga we cherish Canada’s rich history with Scotland.
Today our City is home to St. Margaret of Scotland Elementary School.
The name of this relatively young school – pays tribute to the historic life of Margaret, Queen of Scots.
Margaret’s birth dates back to the year 1045. And her shrine still stands at Dunfermline Abbey in Fife.
Now, since The Irish Club is our kind host this evening, I would be remiss if I did not say a few words about Canada’s proud Irish community.
Like the Scots, Irish-Canadians helped forge towns and cities across Canada.
The community of Meadowvale was settled by Irish immigrants in the 1820s.
The Village of Dixie was once home to the only Roman Catholic Church in Peel County.
Dixie became such a tightknit hamlet of Irish families – that it earned the nickname Irishtown.
The tireless labour of these early Irish families, helped build some of Mississauga’s oldest and most cherished neighbourhoods – places families still call home.
On Rabbie Burns Night we have a lot to look back on; take pride in; and celebrate.
Let us raise our glasses and toast Mississauga’s rich Irish and Scottish heritage; let us also toast the immortal memory of Robbie Burns.
Robbie Burns was truly one-of-a-kind. And although he has long since departed this world, his life and works have stood the test of time – they have enriched us all.
Here’s to Robbie Burns.
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