Wednesday, October 25, 2017

"Paddle to the Sea" by Holling C. Holling

Last Friday we were honoured to be visited by the Canada C3 expedition ship here in Powell River. Canada C3 has been part of Canada's 150th Anniversary celebration and supports the reconciliation process with indigenous peoples.

Canada C3 (meaning coast to coast to coast) started in Toronto, followed the St. Lawrence to the Atlantic, traversed the Northwest Passage, and will complete their 150 day journey on October 28 in Victoria, BC.

MV Polar Prince icebreaker anchored in Powell River.

The ship was well suited for the Northwest Passage. The MV Polar Prince is a 67 metre (220 ft) former Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker now in service as a research vessel. 

Members of the Tla'amin Nation welcoming the expedition.

The expedition visited Powell River on October 20 and members of the Tla'amin Nation welcomed the participants at Willingdon Beach. Here they shared the canoe carving project currently in progress.

Carving has brought people together to learn about each other.

After Tla'amin Nation Hegus (Chief) Clint Williams, elders and carvers spoke, Canada C3 Expedition Leader Geoff Green brought out a canoe of his own. It was Paddle to the Sea, the carving used in the film adaptation of the book written by Holling C. Holling. (Click here to see the complete film.)

Expedition leader Geoff Green shares Paddle to the Sea with Hegus Clint Williams

The story is about an indigenous boy who carves a small wooden canoe during the winter and releases it the following spring. Etched into the bottom are these words, "Please put me back in the water. I am Paddle-to-the-Sea." The story follows Paddle through the Great Lakes and down the mighty St. Lawrence River to the Atlantic Ocean.

Not only did we get to see Paddle to the Sea, but we could hold it and have our picture taken with it. This was a highlight for me.

When I taught school, I read Paddle to the Sea to my elementary students. Later, when the film version was released, that was added to my lessons.

Little did I know back then that I would move to Canada. And little did I know that my life would come to a full circle in a unique way.

Have you had such an experience? How did it happen for you? -- Margy


  1. Oh my that is special, must have been very impressive!
    Wonderful photo's!

    Have a splendid, ♥-warming ABC-WEDNES-day / – week
    ♫ M e l ☺ d y ♫ (abc-w-team)

  2. This is wonderful Margie, how I would love to hold Paddle to the sea as well. I used the book and film many times in my early teaching career too.

  3. I enjoyed your post, thank you very much. The wonder of life. :-)

  4. Oops, tried to comment "this is wonderful" but lost it.
    Just super, Margy.
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

  5. How interesting! It looks like fun for a lot of people. Great photos, too!

  6. That's wonderful! Its history in the making!

  7. Thanks everyone for taking the time to comment. This was a very moving experience for me in many ways. - Margy


Thanks for stopping by. Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome. - Margy