Dec 31

Oh Canada!

When we moved to Canada 12 years ago we did so for many reasons, the main reason was for a new life away from the drudge that had surrounded us in the UK. Not that we dislike the UK immensely but we could see the writing on the wall with the decay in society in general. The set up of the family in the new country came with lots of trials and tribulations which no amount of reading had prepared us for! Having to retake our driving tests after having held a valid driver’s license in the UK for over 20 years was just one of those trials, added to that the loss of insurance history which pushed our first insurance cost to over $5,000 for the year (12 years ago that was a lot of money) were the first things which bit us hard…

We steadily settled our roots in this new country and started to accept some of the nuances of living here eventually becoming fully fledge Canadians in 2002. Soon after that our last links to the UK were finally withdrawn with the sale of our UK Company Shield Software Services in 2003. We still visit occasionally to see family but we have no intentions of rushing back anytime soon to live full time.

Canada is a land of immigrants who have left their homeland in search of a new life and new beginning, we are very happy to live in a place where leaving the kids toys on the front garden doesn’t result in it being stolen within minutes! People seem to have better lives here and the crime level outside of the major cities is still very low. I can’t count the number of times I walk past a car with the keys in and running while the owner pops into the store to make a purchase (Yes it’s against the law to leave it running for extended periods of time) and able to come back with the car exactly where they left it! In the UK my car was stolen 3 times from my front driveway in the night even with a burglar alarm fitted, let alone the number of times the radio was ripped out! In the UK nightclubs the girls don’t dance around their handbags they dance around their removable radio controls!

Believe me no place is perfect but we do seem to be better off here than we were in the UK, not that we dislike all of what makes up the UK but feeling safe in your home at night makes a lot of other nuances very acceptable..

The reason for this non IBM ‘i’ blog is not to put down the UK or hold Canada out as a shining example of what a country should be, it is about a recent opportunity which we were lucky enough to be chosen for. As part of the 2010 Olympic Games Canada is looking to gain a world record for the longest torch relay, they held a lottery for people to take part in the Torch Relay by carrying the Torch for a small distance as it makes its way around Canada. The target was to bring the Torch to within 1 hour’s travel of 90% of all Canadian Communities which resulted in the Torch travelling over 45,000Kms on its way. My wife Alison decided to put our son forward as a possible candidate for carrying the Torch but due to some limitations in the website access she could only put herself forward. As part of the submission you had to explain why you should be chosen to represent your community in the event. We run a website www.whatson.ca which provides the surrounding community with a free service to advertise their upcoming events on the website which was in fact developed on the IBM ‘i’ initially but does run on a Linux Server at the ISP location.

So on the 29th of December Alison took her place in history by running with the Olympic flame in the town of Thornbury which is a small town about 1.5 hours from here. We were all very proud and thankful for the opportunity to be involved in this momentous occasion. The Torch will be donated to the Dufferin County Museum where Alison is the Collections Manager for the community as a whole to see. I have included a picture of Alison accepting the flame from the previous runner a young lad who did over 90 hours of exercise to gain acceptance into the relay (Coke were looking to get the kids off their couches and into exercise regimes to help them help themselves).

Alison Accepts the Olympic Flame for her short stage

Alison Accepts the Olympic Flame for her short stage


While this is not an IBM ‘i’ post, we feel it’s an important part of our lives worthy of mention. Thank you Canada for letting us be involved..

Chris…