This is our life. No dress rehearsal.

Katherine: An incredible maritime history

Katherine Crothers Leverette, amongst many other things, writes for Profile Magazine with a column called The Kingstonian.

My Canada Project

Duleepa Wijayawardhana

January 18, 2017

A good reason to do the Canada project is to learn about the people I know and also meet new people. Katherine Crothers Leverette, amongst many other things, writes for Profile Magazine with a column called The Kingstonian. She is a former teacher, a proud Kingstonian and am proud to feature her thoughts here.

Q. Tell me bit about yourself and your life in Canada?

I’m 69 years old, a mother, grandmother, retired teacher and writer. I guess you could say I’m a “water baby” because I was born, brought up and educated right here in this beautiful, historical city of Kingston, Ontario and its waterfront has always been my “go to” place. My family members are long time boaters and have loved sailing this harbour for generations. Garden, Simcoe and Wolfe islands are always calling out to me.

The incredible maritime history that comes from this very place helped to establish Canada. Did you know that there are more than 400 sailing and steam ships that have sunk here and out in in Lake Ontario in the last 200 years? Garden Island used to house 300 families, who were all involved in the logging business, creating rafts and navigating them down river… as for me, I want to be out on the harbour sailing in a south westerly summer wind or anchored out by Myles Shoal. Living in Canada has given me this privilege/freedom and I don’t take it lightly.

Q. When you think about being Canadian what does it mean for you?

Being Canadian means everything to me. I have great pride in this country with both its beauty and its blemishes and one of my dreams is to try to make it better for the next generation.

Q. What makes you happy about Canada? Where do you feel the happiest in Canada?

I am happiest in the Thousand Islands. What makes me happy is that I can actually do something (however small) to keep this country strong. As a teacher for 25 years, my passion was always to help provide the platform on which my students could stand. So that they could grow strong, independent and confident thinkers and confident, with an education that provides them the tools they’ll need to “fight the good fight” for democracy and to treat others with respect and empathy.

Q. What frustrates you about Canada?

I suppose it frustrates me that we as Canadians can’t move forward faster than we have in the pursuit of caring for all our citizens and give each one the rights and responsibilities they deserve. I know we are trying, but racism and disrespect keep rearing their ugly heads.

Q. Where would you like Canada to be in 25 years when we celebrate 175?

I’d like Canada to be even stronger as a nation, respected in the world as a people who applaud diversity and welcoming those who need respite, who respect history and who search for truth. I’d like Canada to still have her natural resources intact and to ensure we have renewable energy .I’d like Canadians to listen to and respect our native peoples. They have the knowledge and instincts that can guide us into an unknown future.

Q. If you have one piece of advice to give someone being born in Canada today, what would it be?

It would be to teach your children to give back to their community/country.. It is a right and a responsibility. And, oh yes, “PLAY ONLY THE GOOD NOTES!”

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