Released on December 8, 2017
In 1913, a young immigrant, his name was John, who was a husband and father of three, left behind the oppression of his country forever. He also left behind his family, for what he knew might be an extended period of time.
Despite the fears he must have felt for his family, he set out to cross the ocean. To find a place of hope for their future. He came to Saskatchewan.
It took him nine years. He worked hard and he saved hard.
Those nine years were not without hardship and tragedy. And when they were over he no longer had three children. His daughter had died in the influenza epidemic of 1915. Only his two sons remained.
What a bittersweet family reunion it must have been, when he managed to send enough money to bring his wife and two sons to join him. Despite their loss and their difficulties their story is still about hope.
Hope that was stronger than the fear of what they had to endure. They saw Saskatchewan as a place to build their future. And turn that dream into reality.
Despite the adversities in the lives of that young immigrant family, that first Saskatchewan Christmas must have been a great celebration.
There was probably not a great deal of wealth in gifts or a great table spread, but there must have been a great deal of wealth and fulfillment in simply being together. And there must have been renewed optimism for the new year dawning.
That has been what we have dared to dream in our province for the last 10 years. That Saskatchewan’s story would be about optimism and hope again. And that hope would be stronger than the fear that we aren’t good enough, or fear of the unknown.
Instead, we dreamed of a Saskatchewan that would bring our kids home. A Saskatchewan that had confidence in what we have to offer to a new wave and a new generation of immigrants just like John.
Together, that’s what we have done.
In 2017, a hundred years later, that immigrant family’s descendants still live in Saskatchewan.
John’s great grandson and his family will come together in just a few weeks for a traditional ranch Christmas…all because of one man’s determination and sacrifice. And because of a place of hope, like Saskatchewan.
And this Christmas, new comers from the world over will enjoy the holidays in their own way here in Saskatchewan. Because in the last 10 years, newcomers have again found hope here and chose Saskatchewan in record numbers.
To live without fear and to dream of a better future. May we always have that freedom. And may we always have the freedom to celebrate Christmas.
Christmas is the ultimate story of hope because that’s what God gave to us all. He sent His son Jesus.
As a tiny baby, He left perfection to endure oppression.
Because He loved us. And chose to bring us that hope. That’s what I believe this Christmas.
It’s the time of year to enjoy the wealth of simply being together with those we love, and the fulfillment of helping someone in need.
And it’s the time of year when we are all reminded of the need to spread that hope and love God sent to us. To share it with those around us, especially those in need.
So from me and my wife Tami, and our family, and on behalf of my colleagues in the Government of Saskatchewan may the Miracle of Christmas bless you, and the True Spirit of Christmas keep you.
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
For more information, contact: