A Golden Spirit
By Julia Klassen, SNN Senior Editor, Garden Valley Collegiate, Winkler, MB
The Golden Boy, one of Manitoba's best-known and most beloved symbols, is once again a shining symbol of youth, prosperity, and hope. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II flipped the switch illuminating the golden bronze figure in a formal ceremony on October 8, marking the official return of the Golden Boy to the people of Manitoba.
Earlier this year, the Golden Boy was lifted from his perch 255 feet above the ground and gently lowered to the prairie soil he had watched over for 82 years. The many years of extreme weather and wind had taken their toil on the statue and restoration and repairs were in need.
Large and unexpected crowds met and welcomed the Golden Boy wherever he went and as was expected, crowds gathered one last time for the royal conclusion to his latest adventure.
Manitobans of many generations were among the 114,000 visitors to see the Golden Boy on display at The Manitoba Museum. For those of us who saw the Golden Boy during restoration we know that it is a striking cast iron figure, covered with 24-carat gold. Standing 17 feet tall and weighing 1.8 tons, it is a daunting and an impressive sight that will make any Manitoban proud.
Yet, when the Queen flipped the switch earlier this month, how many in the crowd of spectators understood the symbolic role of the Golden Boy and recalled that it represents Eternal Youth and the Spirit of Enterprise?
As I look at the Golden Boy, I am reminded of an elderly acquaintance. She is a woman who is close to the Queen in age. She was physically young when the Golden Boy was placed on his perch the first time. Much like the Golden Boy, her physical condition has deteriorated with the passing years. However, her spirit is still young and enterprising. She reminds me of everything that the Golden Boy represents.
Those of us who write for School Net News are young and many of us are enterprising. We are in the prime of health and look forward to rich opportunities in our future. As we strive to model this golden spirit we need to equip ourselves with the readiness to be bold. We need to have the courage, confidence and faith to take risks, in hope of fulfilling dreams. We will be young as long as we stay open-minded, actively aware of the feelings and ideas around us, and flexible enough to adapt to these changing thoughts and approaches.
The Golden Boy is about the future, calling today's youth to join in the pursuit and building of a more prosperous tomorrow. Now that the bronze image has returned to his perch for another several decades, let us remember to look for the symbols in our lives that remind us of the importance of Eternal Youth and an Enterprising Spirit. Let us enjoy being physically young…and for those of us who aren't, let us be young at heart.
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