Sunday, October 18, 2015

Stephen Harper: A Boy, a Father and Watching Trains

Stephen Harper (right) with his father and brothers.

This blog has been blessedly free from politics of any kind. But as Canadians go to the polls tomorrow, Oct. 19, to elect a new federal government, I've been doing some reading about the political parties and their positions.

While doing that, I came across something I had never known before: Our current Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, used to spend time as a boy watching trains with his father.

That information came about as I was reading a Toronto Star article about Harper’s life. 

As a boy in Toronto, “some of his fondest memories are of walking to the old Leaside station with his father to watch trains come and go,” the article stated.

Curious to find out more, I found another article in the Star which talked about “the trainyards that captivated father and son; the whistle of the train in the night and their trips to the station.”

In the article, Harper is quoted as saying: "I always remember going there. It's one of those moments when I could see my dad standing there just as if it was yesterday, and what I look at now is remembering how young he was."

In a speech in 2013 on the occasion of Leadside's 100th anniversary, Harper said: "We could walk down to the railway station, which we regularly did, my dad, my brothers and I, where we would watch the trains come in from out of town."

Harper’s boyhood experiences with trains has no bearing at all on the election. I have no ulterior motive in sharing about it. It’s just one of those interesting things that has turned up as I was doing research in advance of voting.

I will add one more thing, though: If you are Canadian, make sure you vote!

P.S. In last night's election, Justin Trudeau was elected Prime Minister. I can't find anything about him and model railroads and trains, however.

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