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REPORTING · 1st July 2015
Walter McFarlane
It was time to raise the flags at the Kitimat Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, June 28th. The Multicultural Society of Kitimat, and the members of the various countries who have come to Canada to make Kitimat their home were out to raise their countries flag.

“It is a very proud day for all of us to be at Kitimat. Kitimat is, as far as I know, the only community in British Columbia, or Maybe Canada, who got a heritage park and they have over 20 different countries flags flying here,” said Multicultural Society President Ray Raj. “We as Canadians are very proud that we are not a melting pot. We are like fruit salad. You know you put everything in there, you mix it up and they have their different identity.”

Trish Parsons, with the Chamber of Commerce, explained there were two new flags being raised that day. One of these flags was the flag of the Netherlands, the other was the Hungarian Flag and were donated by members of the community.

Mayor Phil Germuth stepped up to say a few words. “Kitimat has been described as a marvel of industry and nature. We are also blessed to be a marvel of multiculturalism. These flags represent the homelands of our residents. We are proud to celebrate our citizens rich cultural heritage. One of the first sights visitors and residents see upon coming to Kitimat is the flags of the many different nations flying here at Heritage Park. It is wonderful to live in a community where many different people from backgrounds and cultures live together in harmony,” said Germuth.

Member of Parliament, Nathan Cullen was also out for the day. He said Kitimat was a town which was known for its industrial development. He said all the new people to Kitimat are struck by how welcoming the town is.

“One of the reasons is because of this multicultural [diversity] which exists here. This understanding, this acceptance of people coming from all over the world to make their homes, their families here. I think it’s really important as we look to the future to make it more welcoming because that’s the nature of the world today, and Canada holds itself up across the planet as a place that welcomes more and more people and I’m honoured to be here today,” said Cullen.

The flags were raised to the singing of: ‘O Canada.’ Afterwards, there was cake, hot dogs and other goodies.