TORONTO - It wasn’t the “official” flag-raising to commemorate Italy’s Day of the Republic in the territory of the for Consulate General of Toronto. Close enough though, this is Vaughan, and they try to “anticipate” events.
The formalities and festivities associated with “real deal” will take place today at the Consulate General, 136 Beverly St., in Toronto. For security reasons, if you haven’t registered and received your invitation you may be out of luck.
Still, this was a special day for an additional three reasons: it was Mayor Bevilacqua’s birthday so the “organizers” allowed themselves a bit of poetic license with timing; two young ladies Alessia and Tea delighted the crowd with their renditions of the national anthems, “O Canada” and “Fratelli d’Italia”; and, the director for Cultural Affairs at the Consulate gave a moving expression of how she became more appreciative of the significance of the day, after she came to live among Italian Canadians.
There were of course others present besides the mayor and the deputy mayor. The two MPs for Vaughan, the Hon. Deb Shulte and Francesco Sorbara brought greetings from the Prime Minister. Several other individuals from the ’community” were also in attendance, although they were too numerous to mention in this space. I beg their indulgence.
As always, flag-raisings of this type draw the participation of veterans of the various branches of Italy’s armed forces (ret.) and para-military community groups – in parade attire - Colourful, impressive and admirable: Carabinieri, Guardia D’Onore, Alpini and Bersaglieri (to which I admit a partial favour because my grandfather fought in World War I as a soldier wearing the uniform).