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Canadians rejoice on Obama’s inauguration

Mayor James Atebe of Mission
Mayor James Atebe of Mission

Across Canada several events were organized by fan clubs to watch Obama’s inauguration ceremony, while some revelry was held over the weekend.

I talked to many Canadians on January 20, day of the much anticipated Presidential inauguration as they watched the proceedings in pubs, churches, class rooms, and homes throughout the country.

My narrative of the Obama legacy would have been incomplete without interviewing two prominent black-Canadians: Mayor of Mission, James Atebe and Clement Apaak.

“It is very significant that the son of a black man has risen to hold the highest office in the world and to me this is an important cause to celebrate,” said Dr. Clement Apaak, founder of the Obama Fan Club of Canada (OFCC) in Vancouver.

The OFCC organized a President Obama inauguration party to celebrate the power of hope on Jan. 23 at a local bar.

Apaak said, “He is the public indication of black people of the world. He is the spoken symbolism that has been established for the first time among the group of people that have been maligned and treated inhumanly.”

Canadians for Obama and Democrats Abroad, organized to screen the inauguration ceremony in Vancouver’s Rio theatre free of charge.

“You did not want to miss this, a day of history being made: new beginnings, new hope, a new US President,” said Braedan Caley, organizer of the event

Florence Whittaker, another Obama fan joined the inauguration party at Ceili’s Irish pub in downtown Vancouver.

“I am inspired by him as he steps beyond racial and social class lines to bring a public face to world leadership, speaking to issues not confined to America only,” Whittaker said.

James Atebe, the Mayor of Mission is a Kenyan-Canadian and serving his second term in office.

Dr. Clement Apaak
Dr. Clement Apaak

“He engages not only individuals but also institutions, organizations and nations. Most leaders have not being able to get everyone together on a common platform but he appeals to a common cause and unites people,” Atebe said.

Atebe further elaborates his stance on President Obama.

“Certainly up until now we have not known a world leader, let alone an American leader who doesn’t just seek to help Americans but positive aspects of humanity any where in the world.”

Obama’s has inspired creative fan reactions around the world, not only in Canada.

In London, United Kingdom Islington’s Hen and Chickens Theatre has announced plans to produce a musical, Obama On My Mind, inspired by the brand new President of the United States, TVGuide.com reports. The musical is set to premiere on March 05 and will run until March 21.

“Black- Canadian community is not inspired just because he is a colored man.” said Dorothy Rashard a local Vancouver business woman.

“I hope American citizens are able to inspire Canadians to come out and vote in such large numbers as they did for Obama,“ Rashard said.

Here is more coverage on Obama’s cult status:

http://www.economist.com/world/unitedstates/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12991523

http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/11/10/inaugration.tickets/

Clement Apaak Photo Courtesy The Georgia Strait

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