Canadians Celebrate Thanksgiving at Union

It takes Americans a month longer to realize they should be grateful, or so say some of our neighbors to the north.

Canadians celebrate Thanksgiving in October, about six weeks before the traditional American observance. The Harvard Canadian Club joined in the festivities last night with a dinner at the Freshman Union.

Feasting on turkey, vegetables and cider, students compared opinions of life at Harvard and in the United States. The gathering of about 60 students closed with a singing of the Canadian national anthem, "O Canada."

"I think it's great," said Jeremy A. Dawson '90. "During their Thanksgiving, Americans get to go home and be with their families. We don't get to go home, so it's nice that we can get together here. It's almost like family."

"It's a good way to keep in touch with what's happening at home," added Ian H. Steaman '91.

Club President Cedric D. Ho '90 also announced a few of the club's tentative plans for the year, including a trip to Montreal over Veterans Day weekend in November, press coverage of the November Canadian federal election, and an excursion to see the Montreal Canadian hockey team play the Bruins in Boston Gardens. And, Ho said, the activities are not limited to Canadians.

When asked about the oddity of celebrating Thanksgiving on Columbus Day, Ho said, "It seems silly celebrating Columbus Day when you can celebrate Thanksgiving.

"What's so great about Columbus? Leif Erikson discovered Canada 500 years before," Ho joked.

After all, he said, John Frobisher held the first Thanksgiving dinner in Canadian territory in 1583, 37 years before the pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock.