The New Year in Calgary can be hardly imagined without the Slovaks meeting at sunrise in front of the City Hall. Employees there are already greeting us as old acquaintances, because we have been meeting like this for 26 years. Although we are not many, it is mainly a symbol that the capital of Western Canada can commemorate the Independence Day of the Slovak Republic.
Also, this year Palo Beňovský and Frank Kilo acquired the necessary permits, and the security guards had the Slovak flag ready. In front of the Christmas tree in the lobby of the City Hall, Palo Beňovský had a short speech about the importance of keeping one’s love for the homeland. It was then time to hoist the Slovak flag on the honorary flagpost, where it will fly for the whole New Year's day. The people sang the country’s anthem Nad Tatrou sa blýska and a traditional hymn Kto za pravdu horí (Who is burning for the truth).
It is quite cold in Calgary in the morning, so we were happy that Tim Hortons across the street was already open and everyone could warm up with hot coffee, tea or chocolate and eat their favorite donut, courtesy of Branch 65 of the Canadian Slovak League.
From Calgary, we wish everyone a Happy and Wonderful New Year!
Text and photos: Paul Carnogursky