The official opening of Home Place was September 22nd, 2001. Representatives from all three levels of government (Municipal -Mayor Wayne Arthurs and Pickering City Council, Provincial - Minister of Education Janet Ecker, and Federal - Minister of Parliament Dan McTeague) were all there. Also, in attendance were representatives from other concerns I.E. The Ontario Trillium Foundation, The Waterfront Regeneration Trust, Ontario Power Generation, Veridian Power Connections, Dremel and Mekita tools, The Durham Horticultural Society and the Pine Ridge Arts Council. The Pine Ridge Arts Council received recognition for its participation in the Home Place Project by way of a certificate presented to them via the Waterfront Regeneration trust. The "Go for green's national award program recognizes communities, schools and workplaces in Canada for outstanding achievements in active living and environmental stewardship. It, also, helps continue the cycle of positive community action. Dunbarton high school was acknowledged and recognized by the Trail award selection committee for its contribution to the Home Place project.
is all about change. It's about how we deal with that change. It's about appreciating
who we were, who we are and who we shall be. It's like a triple faceted gem
that magically shows us through each window, some aspect of our community
selves. The coalescence of universal symbolism in Home Place comprises one
facet but touches on many. For example, the hill structure is comprised of
twenty used hydro poles in deference to our commitment to recycling as well
an acknowledgement of this millennium year. These poles, as is the case with
mankind, reach, grow and evolve from a lower level and incessantly strive
towards that which is most high. The seven faces carved within the structure
represent the old, the young, the male, the female and the races found on
this earth. The numeral seven, in itself, bears meaning. It refers to good
fortune resulting from the coming together of the Heavenly trinity, and the
Earthly four elements. The uncarved poles, surrounding those carved ones at
the center, are reminiscent of the multitude of trees that once adorned this
land known then as "The Home District". It was from amidst this
stand of wood that our forefathers carved out their furniture, their homes
and indeed their livelihoods. The portal is constructed using the post and
beam style of building, the same as that used by early pioneers. The portal,
here, acts as a transition point between physical and/or spiritual places.
It is a symbolic reference between who we are and who we challenge ourselves
The Kijimba Kind symbolize those scenarios that, perhaps, we need to create in our lives i.e. building bridges, being determined, being vigilant, being appreciative of our past, present and future, working to safeguard our ecology, choosing a course of peace or choosing a course of war or the act of embracing the promise of new beginnings borne on the clarion song of spring after a confounding winter of discontent.
_Through the second facet window of this gem, that is Home Place, I see a coalescence of care, consideration, generosity and goodwill radiating from businesses, organizations and the residents of our community. This manifestation of support, warmth and trust has touched me deeply. I cannot thank them enough for the role that they have played in making Home Place a reality. To Mayor Arthurs, City council and the Trillium Foundation, Thank you for believing in me and in my creative ability. Thank you for granting me the opportunity to add, in my own unique fashion, to the beauty and wonder of this country, Canada, my home. To Veridian Power Connections, you have come through with everything that you said you would do and when you said that you would do it. You've been approachable, reliable and forever professional. It has been a joy to work with you. Thank you. To Dunbarton High School, thank you for your continual support, assistance and enthusiasm provided by administration, staff and students. Thank you for your continual warm encouragement as well as for the warm workspace that you provided. To Ontario Power Generation, I cannot envision a more beautiful and a more appropriate vista for Home Place. Thank you for the use of this most wonderful canvas. To the Pickering Parks department, thank you for keeping this canvas beautiful. To The Dremel Tool Company, The Makita Tool Company and the Giles Tool Agency, thank you for your unwavering support via the use of your tools and repair services. To the Pine Ridge Arts Council, what would I have done without you? You have been at my side from the very beginning. You were there to help whenever I needed you. You picked me up when I was down and took me down a few notches when I got too huffy. Then there is Shane. Aside from the fact that he eats too much, he's been a godsend. He has remained at my side through heat and cold, drought and flood. I couldn't have asked for a more responsible, loyal and creative person to have work with me on this project. Thanks Shane. Guess what! I am still married, thanks to you, Isa, my wife for putting up with me through out all of this. I would not have been able to do this without your love, support and understanding. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you all, for without the roles that each of you played, Home Place would be but a whirling figment on the eddies and tides my, often, overly assertive imagination.
_Through the third facet window, I see the magic of hope. I have had so many of you approach me as I worked on this project to say that this, Home Place, is a place where time stands still. You told me that it is a spiritually magical place. I cannot, however, take credit for this magic. I have only shaped the wood and helped define the space. The magic has come from you. It is the magic of your character that seeks to make so, your hopes and your aspirations. It is the magic that has enabled us to embrace our cultural differences and weave from this, a multicultural fabric that makes this country, our Canada, the gem that it is in this world today. It is the magic that emanates from our hearts as we grieve for those mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters, friends and lovers who have fallen in America. Indeed, it is my hope that before you leave Home Place today, you'll make the trek up that hill of hope, walk through that portal and with all of your might, with all of your will, transmit as much fellowship, as much goodwill, as much empathy, as much of your magic as you can spiritually muster and channel it down to all those people in their hour of need. This is the same magic, your magic, that makes our Canada so unique. It is the magic that reminds us that all things are possible if we only believe. It is magic here to use to better ourselves, to better our country, to better mankind. So, in this flurry of events which constitute our lives; in these best of times and the worst of times, take time to:
then set care
with last light.
Tomorrow, step through to meet
Welcome to Home Place.