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"We had our dreams come true. Like a sunbeam from a clouded sky, came a permission for us to come to Canada, a free country." Marianne Echt, written in 1942, at the age of 16, after escaping Poland in 1939

"I had the time of my life for more than a week aboard that liner (Georgic), exploring every part of the ship t could find ... Canada in the 1950s was Louis St. Laurent; it was the Palace Pier and CHUM Radio with Al Boliska playing all the good rock `n' roll music. It was Rocket Richard and Hurricane Hazel and sunny days at Sunnyside, that great amusement park with its big swimming pool. The old Sunnyside has been bulldozed over long ago, but to this day the smell of hamburger frying with onions will bring me back to those early Canadian experiences: the Exhibition on humid Toronto days and first kisses with girls in crinoline skirts, saddle shoes, and ponytails."

Will Millar (formerly of the Irish Rovers), whose family emigrated from Ireland and settled in Toronto in the mid-50s when he was 17; from his book, Messing about in Boats: The Nautical Confessions of an Unsinkable Irishman.

"A nation, like a tree, does not thrive well till it is [grafted] with a foreign stock."

Emerson, Journals, 1823

"I arrived at Pier 21 in the late summer of 1940, a frightened 10-year-old, escaping with my family from the Nazi occupations of Austria and Czechoslovakia, where we had lived ... It's not easy for Canadians born here to comprehend how deeply immigrants feel about arriving in this country. At that magic moment you realize that whatever happens, nothing will be the same again. The exhilaration is inevitably tinged with fear of the unknown and the anticipated loneliness of having left behind friends and family ..."

Peter C. Newman, Maclean's Magazine, July 1996

"Thousands and thousands of Dutch people died of cold, diseases and starvation that last winter of WW II ... Then the Canadians came and liberated us. They found us in terrible shape, emaciated and barely alive.

Olga Rains, War Bride from The Netherlands, who arrived in Canada 24 August 1946
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Publication:Canada and the World Backgrounder
Date:Dec 1, 2002
Words:357
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