Governor General Visits Regent Park Focus

April 1 wasn't the typical April Fools Day. As a matter of fact, there wasn't anything foolish about the day. What happened was something great and exceptional. Regent Park Focus received an amazing surprise visit from Adrienne Clarkson, the Governor General of Canada. The role of the Governor General was instituted when Canada became a country at Confederation in 1867. Our system of government is a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy which means that Queen Elizabeth II is the Queen of Canada and her will is represented by the Governor General of Canada. Sworn in on Oct. 7, 1999, Adrienne Clarkson became Canada's 26th Governor General. Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson is the say-all and end-all when it comes to approving and passing federal laws. She is also the commander-in-chief of the Canadian Forces. Born in Hong Kong, Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson came to Canada as a refugee with her family during the war in 1942. She received her early education in the Ottawa public school system and later obtained an Honours BA in English and MA in English Literature from the University of Toronto. She also did postgraduate work at the Sorbonne in France. Before being appointed Governor General, Clarkson served as chairwoman of the board of trustees of the Canadian Museum of Civilization in Hull, Quebec. She was also the executive producer and host of the CBC television program, Something Special. During her 90-minute visit to Regent Park Focus, Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson enjoyed a presentation of videos created by local youths and also radio excerpts from Catch da Flava radio, a local youth program broadcasted from Regent Park. She also participated in a taped broadcast, hosted by one of the youth journalists for Catch da Flava. Having the Governor General in the Focus environment was an incredible experience. The youth were honoured and proud to have Gov. Gen. Adrienne Clarkson view their work. The Governor General’s visit to Regent Park included tours to Dixon Hall, the Regent Park Community Centre and Pathways to Education. For more information log onto www.catchdaflava.com and check out the radio archives.

Emmanuel Kedini
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