Nov 17, 2015

Parliament Hill Stroll ~ Ottawa Ontario

November 16, 2015 ~ It was a perfect day for a walk, so I headed out for a short stroll over to Parliament Hill. My job takes me through Ottawa often and my hotel is nearby the Hill.  Ottawa has an awesome atmosphere to it, and I enjoy reflecting on Canada as I walk the Hill.  I think we have an impressive country; It's certainly not perfect....but it is spectacular!

Some of our own personal family history is centered around this town.  My wife worked here as a Page in the House of Commons over 30 years ago while attending Carlton University and often has fun stories to tell of meeting Canadian and World leaders as they cycled through Canada on their world tours.  Many of them attended and addressed the House of Commons where she was able to meet them.  She laughs remembering spilling water on Joe Clark, our one-time Prime Minister and Loyal Leader of the Opposition, or small-talk chatting with then Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, the father of our current Prime Minister.

In the late 1980's and 1990's, I was often in Ottawa as a corporate pilot picking up and dropping off well-heeled passengers.  Amongst a long list of VIP's, I had the opportunity to fly three Canadian Prime Ministers Jean Chretien, John Turner and Paul Martin through the years.  The destinations were often in support of their lawyer/legal concerns, vacations or simply giving them a ride to their various campaign "whistle-stops".  Whether I agreed with them politically or not, it was always fun to have them as passengers and get a glimpse into their lives.   

A friend recently pointed out to me the scripture verses inscribed on the peace tower back at the turn of the century when as a nation we held strong Christian values.  These verses are literally "carved in stone" thanks to leaders from days gone by!

South-facing Peace Tower side.

Inscription on the East Arch of the Peace Tower: "He shall have Dominion from Sea to Sea" ~ Psalm 72:8

Canada’s official motto “A Mari usque ad Mare” meaning “From sea to sea” is based on Psalms 72:8, “He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.” The first official use of this motto came in 1906 when it was engraved on the head of the mace of the Legislative Assembly of the new Province of Saskatchewan. The wording of the motto came to the attention of Sir Joseph Pope, then Under Secretary of State, who was impressed with its meaning. He later proposed it as motto for the new design of the coat of arms, which was approved by Order in Council on April 21, 1921 and by Royal Proclamation on November 21, 1921.

Over the West Arch window – “Where there is no vision, the people perish” ~ Proverbs 29:18

East Facing Peace Tower

East Block on Parliament Hill

The East Block (officially the Eastern Departmental Building is one of the three buildings on Canada's Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Ontario, containing offices for parliamentarians, as well as some preserved pre-Confederation spaces.

Built in the Victorian High Gothic style, the East Block is, along with the Library of Parliament, one of only two buildings on Parliament Hill to have survived mostly intact since original construction. Though not as renowned as the Centre Block of parliament, the East Block formerly appeared on the face of the Journey Series design of the Canadian hundred-dollar bill

Inscription over the South window of the Peace Tower – “Give the King thy judgment, O God, and thy righteousness unto the King’s son” ~Psalm 72:1.

And these are but a few of the many Scripture verses etched throughout the Buildings. In an age where there seems to be no enduring legacies, the testimony of our forefathers endures in the Scriptures, written in stone and accessible for all to view simply by walking up to the Parliament Buildings.

Before the fall of 1983, July 1 was called “Dominion Day” which was a recognition of the sovereignty of God. With only twelve Members of Parliament present, the private members bill that proposed changing “Dominion Day” to “Canada Day” was passed. The Canadian Parliament changed the name to “Canada Day” within five minutes and without debate. On October 27, 1982 with the granting of Royal Assent it became official.

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