A Peak Moment at Rideau Hall
The gold-draped ballroom of Rideau Hall, Ottawa. The residence of His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, the Governor General of Canada. Forty-four Canadians are being honoured by appointment to the Order of Canada. An official is reading out a citation:
"Silver Donald Cameron's prose is powerful, thoughtful and brave. Over the course of his prolific career as an author, educator and journalist, he has demonstrated a remarkable versatility, having written more than 17 books and 500 articles on a wide range of topics. His latest venture is The Green Interview, an innovative journalism website focused on the envrionment. He has also championed community development on Nova Scotia's Isle Madame, promoting cultural, tourism and business initiatives to strengthen the communitiy's humane values and sustainable way of life."
What a glorious citation, particularly the bit about my prose and the reference to my beloved Isle Madame!
The crowd breaks into applause. I step forward, and His Excellency pins a heavy, snowflake-shaped medal on my lapel. "A lifetime of achievement," he says quietly, taking my hand and turning me to face the phalanx of cameras. Flashbulbs flare, the ovation crests.
What a moment. As we used to say in the Sixties, what a rush!
Only afterwards do I realize that I've gone through the entire ceremony with my fly unzipped.