I survived the heat of the multi-cultural festival. Were you waiting with bated breath to find that out?
My favourite memory of the festival is Melany. The conceit of my presentation was that I was trying to get people to sign my Baby Bonus initiative–something the Women’s Institutes of Canada worked on. My character was a founding president of the first Women’s Institute in Surrey Centre. This initiative would eventually become the Family Allowance in 1945.
Melany was walking around the festival by herself. I think her parents were with the First Nations tents, as that where she seemed to be going all the times I saw her. She was 11 and seemed to be a kid with some learning disabilities. On Saturday, she watched my presentation, she showed me all the stuff that she’d got by walking around the festival and signed my petition rather laboriously–her first name only–Melany.
On Sunday, Melany showed up at my stage again. We chatted for a while and then she said:
I think I know how to write my last name now.
So, we got out the petition, found where she’d signed on Saturday and she quite proudly added her last name to her first name.
It’s just the sun, it makes my eyes water.