The closing motivational keynote speaker for the DPI Canada program was Peter Mansbridge. Peter is the chief correspondent for CBC News and anchor of The National. Peter delivered his motivational speech, Canada and Canadians in a Changing World.
In his deep soothing voice, through several vibrant stories, Mansbridge shared his desire to help canadians recognize their heritage.
Peters shared his story of how he got into broadcasting. In September of 1968, Peter worked at an airport in churchill manitoba. One afternoon he was asked to announce the flights boarding gate. After the annoucement, the manager of CBC in churchill came up to him and told him he should be on radio. He started broadcasting on the night shift the following evening. This has taken him on an incredible path involving 25 years of anchoring the national.
One of the compelling stories the motivational keynote speaker told was when he interviewed Barack Obama, in the historical map room in the white house. Mansbridge was told that the President will be here at 9:13, and at exactly 9:13, he walked in.
Following the interview, Obama had to leave quickly in his helicopter awaiting him outside. However five minutes later, Obama surprizingly walks back into the map room and says, "Peter I have someone you have to meet, this is Marvin ... and he's from Victoria." Obamas parting words to Mansbridge were,"you should really come see the helicopter take off it's really neat."
The motivational keynote speaker told several stories cultivated from his years of broadcasting, the ones that stood out for me where:
In Appledorn, three canadian veterans came back to the town they helped liberated. They were greeted by 50,000 Dutch people who clapped for them. In the audience was a lady holding her son. A Reporter stopped and asked her why she would bring her son to this? The lady replied , "because I want my son to know what being a Canadian is."
In Appledorn, Canadian were people who came to their country and not only liberated them but saved them. The mayor of appledorn said, " you have to have lost your freedom to appreciate when someone gives it back to you."
The motivational speech ended with this final story,
In Kabo Afghanistan, a woman took on a dangerous job to explain to other women what the new constitution meant. For safety reasons, these women met at night in small hidden groups. It was dangerous but they did it.
This woman was born in Afghanistan where her family fled the country in 90's when the Taliban took power. Canada took them in, she ended up in Montreal and applied for canadian citizenship.
The picture that all of these stories painted was an image of what it means a Canadian. To be canadian is to be someone who cares not just about ourselves but we care about our neighbors and we reach out and find ways to help.