With Glowing Hearts We See Thee Rise

Andrew Zwicker
By Andrew Zwicker
June 25th, 2009

With Glowing Hearts We See Thee Rise, the True North Strong and Free

I couldn’t think of a better lyric for a national anthem to describe the way Rossland celebrates its inclusion in the second largest country on the planet. Next Wednesday a group of hearty Rosslanders will celebrate our glorious nation of vast open spaces, spectacular geography and wonderful people by doing what we know best here; getting outside and having some human-powered fun in the surrounding mountains with a bunch of like-minded folk.

Quite literally after a 9:00am meeting in front of the library a group often as large as a hundred locals will rise, strong and free, here in the true north, and make their way up the slopes of Mt. Roberts. The short but steep hike/scramble runs only 3.5 km to the top but covers an elevation change of just over 860 meters or 2,800 feet. While that group of patriots huff and puff their way to the summit, will the less athletically inclined inhabitants of the Mountain Kingdom, gathered around a flag pole , have glowing hearts as they see the others rise?

While a reliable source for how long the Canada Day hike up Roberts has been going on  was hard to come by (some folks remember just the past five or six years, others have said they’ve been doing it, organized or not for their entire lives) the flag itself has been flying high above town for over a century.

First erected on June 5th, 1900 the flag was to commemorate the entrance to Pretoria by Lord Frederick Roberts during the Boer War. Previously known as Mt. Spokane, folowing a public referendum on the matter, the mountain was re-named Mt. Roberts.

Every year since (or every few years depending on who you talk to), Rosslanders march up the steep slope on Canada Day to replace the enormous 60 foot by 40 foot flag, perched 6,504 feet above sea level.

If you’re mighty enough to make the hike successfully you’ll want to finish up the trek at Pioneer Park where the Chamber has organized family celebrations including a BBQ and cake cutting to rejuvenate post-hike jelly legs. Can-can girls from the Follies in full regalia will be on hand—performing and dancing along to the sounds of local band “Best Of” which will rock the park until 5:00pm.

Keeping the party going into the night a $5,000 fireworks show will be set off in Gyro Park in Trail. While living though the breakdown of regional recreation, let’s be glad that—for now–we as non-Trail dwellers don’t have to pay a non-resident’s fee to watch the festivities.

However we celebrate the 142nd birthday of our fine nation, let’s all take a moment at some point on July 1st to reflect on the generous hand we’ve been dealt, living here in our true north, strong and free.

Categories: General

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