The Honourable Gary A. Filmon, P.C., O.C., O.M.
On behalf of
The Honourable Janice C. Filmon, C.M., O.M.
Lieutenant Governor of Manitoba
Tuesday, October 1, 2019 – 5:00 p.m.
Friends and fellow Manitobans; elves, sleigh drivers and stocking stuffers; supporters of an annual miracle and its miracle-worker-in-chief – welcome to Government House.
We are gathered on Treaty One land, on the traditional territory of the Anishinaabe and the homeland of the Metis people.
I begin by acknowledging that the Anishinaabe and Metis people lived here long before this place became known as Winnipeg. And our province remains home to a large and vibrant Indigenous community.
For 135 years, Government House has been a place to celebrate great Manitobans, great accomplishments and great milestones.
Tonight, we celebrate all three.
For a public service organization to reach its centennial you need generations of dedicated leaders, staff, volunteers and supporters.
And of course you need a community that supports that organization because it values the contributions it makes.
For 100 years, the Christmas Cheer Board has had all of those. Started in the aftermath of the First World War, while the great global flu epidemic was still a deadly threat, the Christmas Cheer Board has brought joy to countless homes – through all the ups and downs of a century.
Today, hundreds of warehouse volunteers sort and pack hampers that are delivered by thousands of drivers. A staggering number of turkeys and chickens, children’s gifts and crates of groceries are packaged and delivered to those who might otherwise not have a festive dinner or gifts to brighten a child’s eyes.
For 50 years, Kai Madsen has been instrumental to the success of the Christmas Cheer Board.
Under his leadership, it has grown into an inclusive organization open to all and a place of caring and understanding to all who need a little cheer.
Next year in Manitoba, we will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the establishment of our province. We will talk about achievements in caring and community building. We’ll talk about leaders and volunteers who have made this a better place.
It seems only fitting that tonight, we are celebrating 150 years of an organization and an individual representing the best of the Manitoba spirit.
Thank you Kai Madsen and thank you to all who are a part of this great story of public service.
May your leadership inspire another generation to express their passion for giving at the Christmas Cheer Board and wherever they are needed.
Thank you. Merci. Meegwich.