This is Chris Scheetz. Almost 100 years ago, my grandfather Julius packed up his young family looking for a better life. They boarded a boat from their home country of Lithuania and made the long and dangerous trip across the ocean to the east coast of Canada. Can you imagine how bad it must have been for him to put his family through that?
As the story goes, he only had enough money for his family to get to Winnipeg on the train. When they got to Manitoba, somebody looked the other way and they continued further west on a train they didn’t have a ticket for. They arrived in Beaumont at the train station where someone extremely kind took them in and helped my Grandpa get a job as a Blacksmith.
They had many people that cared for them in Beaumont, but it was decided that they would move just a little further west, about 80 kms to Sunnybrook, where he would begin his life as a Canadian farmer, clearing land, accumulating farm animals and making sure his promise for a better life for his family would be met.
When I think about Canada on her 150th birthday, I think about my Grandpa, and how this country and it’s people opened their arms to him and gave him an opportunity to not only live, but to thrive. A place where his children, grandchildren and now great grand children can live without fear, and have every opportunity to be everything they can, even a silly radio announcer.
I can’t imagine what life would be like if he hadn’t boarded that ship in the 1920’s. Canada is the home of the brave, land of the free, and I will always love this country for how it opened its arms to my family and so many others like us.