Victoria – May 13th 2001
“This is the best thing I’ve seen since 1936”.
That out of the blue comment from a spry 91 years old lady, made amidst a field of Corky’s banner laid out on the vast front lawn of the British Columbia Legislature, was certainly a highlight of the delightful Mother’s Day event on May 13th. But it wasn’t the only thing that made us smile. Starting at dawn with the first telltale signs of blue sky and a sunny day ahead, continuing through laying out the endless sections of banner, watching the people stroll by, answering questions, telling Corky’s story, and then bringing the banner back in, we were smiling from end to end of this perfect day. Truly, it could hardly have been better. A light rain had fallen the evening before, so we were naturally a bit nervous overnight, but by the time FREEDOM wheeled up the the Legislature at 9am, the day was already bright & warm & the grass was almost dry. We were joined by an enthusiastic & energetic band of helpers, and had excellent cooperation from the Legislature’s Protocol & Security staff. The day developed into a festive scene as random & organised tourists passed through, taking in the spectacle of the banner and its grand setting… with orcas calling in the background accompanied by Mel Gregory’s guitar. One favorite moment came with the sight of a uniformed member of the security staff standing absolutely still, with his head tilted down as he looked for a long time at a single patch & absorbed its message. Another great scene developed when a large group of tourists stopped to ask questions through an interpreter who diligently explained Corky’s story and ended by exclaiming “now let’s go on to the Wax Works!”. Then there were the little kids and their mums, and the older kids and their much older mums, everyone out to enjoy a lovely Mother’s Day… and inadvertently to learn about an orca and her family & to join the circle of caring for Corky.
We are very grateful to the Protocol Office of the B.C. Legislature for giving us the opportunity, and to David, Karol, Paolo, Hayley, Tom, Mike, Judy & Mel for their great help. Thanks also to Brad Dick & his students at Shoreline Community School, to CHEK tv, the Times Colonist, & CBC Radio.
Corky’s FREEDOM 2001 tour is off to a great start!
Next stop, Saltspring Island!