Lieutenant Governor makes Valley stops for 150

Ainsley Davidson said she was a little nervous when she met Judith Guichon, the lieutenant governor of B.C.

Grade 7 student impressed with humour

Ainsley Davidson said she was a little nervous when she met Judith Guichon, the lieutenant governor of B.C., at her school on Jan. 27.

Ainsley is a Grade 7 student at Queen Margaret’s School in Duncan and was honoured, along with Grade 5 student Cadan Ritter, to have been chosen to present Guichon with gifts after her speech to the student body.

“The lieutenant governor was really nice and seemed to have a sense of humour when she talked to me,” Ainsley said with a smile shortly after the presentation of the gifts.

“She’s a good person and she inspired me to pursue my dreams and never give up.”

Davidson was at the school as part of Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation this year.

She plans to visit 150 schools across B.C. in 2017 to celebrate the nation’s birthday, and Queen Margaret’s was one of the first she visited.

Guichon talked to the students about Canada, its history and the role she plays in a constitutional monarchy.

“A country doesn’t just spring up overnight and a lot has happened over 150 years in Canada,” she said.

“This a great nation that developed through conversation, not confrontation, and all parts of the country are connected through such things as our history, flag, the national anthem, the cross-Canada railway and, of course, hockey. There are so many threads that weave the fabric of this land.”

But Guichon acknowledged that Canada has had questionable times in its history over the years and said “some grave errors were made”.

“There have been some injustices, but we’re evolving slowly and learning how to be forgiven, and to forgive,” she said.

“We’re growing in spirit, understanding and inclusiveness. This year is a year of reconciliation in many Canadian communities.”

As for her role as lieutenant governor, Guichon explained to the students that, unlike MLAs and the premier, she is appointed to her position and is not elected by the people.

She said she represents the Crown and her role is to be “above the fray” of politics.

“Power rests in the institution of the monarchy, and the role of the lieutenant governor is to safeguard the principles of peace, order and good governance,” she said.

“Lieutenant governors are like fire extinguishers. Everyone knows they’re there but hope they never have to use them, but they are there when things go wrong.”

Sesquicentennial at Kelsey

Would you be able to spell sesquicentennial if asked?

Frances Kelsey students and staff were quizzed on the word by Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon during her address to the school on Jan. 30.

Her tour, visiting 150 schools, marks the 150th anniversary of confederation. After being drummed in by Bill White and Wes Edwards from the Malahat Nation, she gave a brief explanation of the role of vice regal and encouraged students to get involved at the local level with an issue they feel is important.

The students in turn treated her to several performances. The concert band played three pieces including ‘Encanto’ composed by Robert W. Smith, dance captains Daria Seeliger and Emma Dodd performed solos from their first semester show, and Haven Jensen played guitar and sang Miley Cyrus’s ‘Butterflies Fly Away.’ After exchanging flowers and gifts, Guichon left, accompanied by a drum tribute.