Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Candy to Schoolkids

In 1858 the separate British colonies of Vancouver Island and British Columbia (the latter meaning the mainland) were united as British Columbia. So this year British Columbia celebrates one of those sesqui-things, a 150th anniversary.

I lived in BC in 1958 and I was just old enough that I remember the centenary. In fact British Columbia did it up pretty big, big enough for a child to remember. Margaret Ormsby wrote an enormous history of the province. Someone actually came up with a cartoon mascot, the kind you would think were only invented for the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. Century Sam, a cheery gold-rush miner. Did he have a wife, Century Sandy?

What I remember, or think I remember, is that the province gave every child a keepsake of the centennial year. And what it was, was a little tin box, with Century Sam (and his lady?) printed on it... and filled with candy. Seems to me we had those boxes around my parents' houses for decades.

Could this be right? Would they really give candy to schoolkids to celebrate a provincial centenary? It has a wonderful nostalgic politically incorrect glow for me. Anyone out there remember?
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