Stompin’ Tom Connors passed away on Wednesday March 6th - well before his time. It seems he simply wore himself out performing for the country he loved. A few phrases from his final message caught my eye. I waited a few days to let them really sink in before writing this post.
“It was a long hard bumpy road but this great country kept me inspired with its beauty, character and spirit, driving me to keep marching on and devoted to sing about it people and places that make Canada the greatest country in the world. I must now pass the torch to all of you, to help keep the Maple Leaf flying high, to be the Patriot Canada needs now and in the future.”
Tom’s words apply to the “50 Years of Our Flag Project”. They also apply to Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven who were inspired to create a distinctively Canadian culture. They also apply to the "1965 Flag Committee", the names on the flag painting that I am still working on (and will continue to work on for a few more months) and to the countless, unidentified Canadians who want to make Canada an even better place to live.
Over the coming months Canada will gradually become aware of the several projects undertaken by the “50 Years of Our Flag” Committee. The 4 by 6 foot canvas is just one of the celebratory projects planned for 2015. Stompin' Tom will still be participating but from an even better place. Tom was asked by the Committee to write a special piece of music for the “50 Years of Our Flag” Celebrations. That Tom would have written a great piece of music is undeniable … for now we will just have to imagine how it might have sounded on Flag Day 2015.