The time the Prime Minster of Canada helped me on a project

This evening as I continued preparing for my presentation I came across a newspaper clipping I had long forgotten. The picture is of the Prime Minster of Canada, John Turner laying a concrete block as I watched on. We were working on a sign base which I was building back in the early 1980's. 

There is of course a fun story behind the newspaper article. Back then we had an art gallery in Chemainus. I was active in the downtown doing all manners of sign projects. It was announced that the Prime Minister of Canada was going to visit our little town and I was offered the chance to meet him. Those in authority told me to dress nice and be in our gallery at exactly 9:00 am. They would drop by. I secretly devised a slightly different plan. 

At exactly 9:00 am the Prime Minister of Canada and his entire entourage walked up our street and poked their head into the gallery. Janis was there but I wasn't. Janis told them I was out so they continued on their way. I was in fact watching from just across the street, hiding behind a bush. As the group crossed the street towards me I stepped out with a trowel in my hand. I was of course dressed in paint spattered work clothes. As they passed I dusted my dirty hand off on my jeans and stretched it out to greet the Honorable John Turner. He shook my hand after a somewhat reluctant introduction by the Mayor. I smiled and asked the prime minister if he would like to lay a cornerstone on the sign I was building. Not to pass up a photo opportunity (even an unscheduled one) he graciously helped me out. The story and picture made the front page of all the local papers and the evening news on TV. Mission accomplished. :)

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Dan SawatzkyComment