Pomp and ceremony

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Happy Monday, everyone!

I'm up here covering Estimates Committee today. (Did you see my blog post on Estimates?) I've got another blog post coming soon on petitions, order paper questions, and some other procedural peculiarities, but in the meantime, I've got a couple of odds and ends that I've been meaning to post for a while. I love the pomp and ceremony around the House, and when you spend a bit of time up here, you learn some fun little facts about the place. None of this is really "important" but I find it kind of interesting, and I hope you will too.

First of all, did you know that they play music up at the House of Assembly? For about the first 10 minutes before the sitting each day, and whenever the house is in recess, the House of Assembly broadcast plays traditional Newfoundland music. It sort of warns everybody that things are about to get underway. Personally, I love this music. It's always slow, quiet and slightly wistful. It evokes a simpler time when the world wasn't so busy, and adults didn't yell talking points at each other in a big room in Confederation Building. (But I digress.) If you get a chance, tune in to Channel 70 at about 1:20 p.m. to hear what I'm talking about.

Anyway, I tweeted about my love of the House of Assembly music a few weeks ago, and one of the elves who works for the House sent me a quick note.

"Mr. McLeod,

I understand you tweeted yesterday that you like the music we play on the House of Assembly channel. With our trusty SOCAN license in place, we are currently using: Lloyd Bartlett - Guitar Reflections: Newfoundland Classics; Ed Kavanagh - Weaving the Wind; Sandy Morris - Music from Land and Sea. We purchased the CDs from either Fred's Records or O'Brien's."

I'm also informed that they only use instrumental music, which I find more than a little bit disappointing. Secretly, I'm always hoping that when the House of Assembly adjourns for the day, they would cut away to something a bit more upbeat ... for example, maybe this.

OK, on to fun fact number two. Did you know that the House of Assembly is full of presents? Apparently when Newfoundland and Labrador joined Canada, all the other provinces gave us gifts for our legislature. Ontario gave us a really cool chair. Quebec gave us a table. Saskatchewan gave us a sword. You can see them all here. Arguably the coolest gift of them all came from B.C. They gave us a massive gold mace. The mace is so cool, it actually gets a parade every day when the House is sitting - it's a small parade, just the Speaker, and a handful of other folks, but still, a parade! You can read more about the mace here, including the old wood one that sits outside the public galleries. 

Alright, so that's all for today. I'll try to get a pic of the parade today, so if possible, I'll update this post later with a pic. Check back soon for more updates from the House.

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