On Saturday 1st October 2005 I became a member
of the Knights Templar in Toronto.
There were 15 of us being
made members and it was certainly an interesting experience. We met at the
Church at 3.00 with us novices starting our retreat at 3.30. We had to
have some silent moments to think about what we were about to do and also
received talks of the history of the Knights Templar together with some of
the work that they were doing on an International basis. It was then onto
the service and if you are interested here it is to look at...
We got knighted with the
sword by the Grand Master and then clothed in our robes and at the completion of the
service we headed to the Royal Canadian Military Institute for a banquet
which was most enjoyable.
And this is the cross you get to wear when
attending special events
I didn't take any pictures
but there were lots taken by a professional photographer so hopefully I'll
get some at a later date which I'll add in here.
You can learn more about
the Knights Templar at
On October 4th I got an
email saying my work permit renewal had been approved and noted that I
should now leave Canada and then report at a port of entry so that it
could be issued.
And the reason they emailed it to me was due
to my previous work permit expiring on 1st October and so technically I
was an illegal alien for 4 days <gulp>.
As they said Port of Entry I thought I might
be able to get my work permit at Walpole Island but having gone there they
told me I had to go to a place where they had an immigration office and
that was either Sarnia or Windsor. As Sarnia was a lot nearer...
only some 40 minutes... I hot footed it to Sarnia which is on
Lake Huron, around 1 hours drive from Chatham. While I visited the
Immigration Office I was told by them that I actually had to exit Canada
and then come back in and present myself to immigration to get my new work
I really couldn't understand why I had to exit
Canada to renew my work permit so I asked :-)
Apparently it's because the Immigration folk
have the final say on whether to grant you the work permit. While the
consulate can approve the application they can't actually issue the
permit. From the Immigration point of view if they declined to
application from inside Canada and they decided not to grant approval for
any reason then they would need to have you arrested as they "can't send
you back to Canada". On the other hand if you come into Canada from
the USA then they can simply refuse you entry and return you to the USA
and so that makes it a simple matter for them.
The bridge over to the USA
As a result of this system I then had to go
over the bridge to the USA side and complete the usual forms and pay my
$6.00 processing fee. I then turned around and headed back into Canada and
reported to the Immigration department where they approved and issued me
with a new work permit. They also noted my previous work permit had
expired 4 days previous!!!
I might add that Moira in Detroit had arranged
to have my new work permit go through to 4th October 2007 and so give me a
two year permit rather than the one year one I'd had before. She did that
of her own initiative as I just asked for one more year. She
felt as I'd applied for landed immigrant status this work permit should
certainly last until a decision was made and so hopefully this would be
the last permit I'd need to apply for and so many thanks to her for that.
All the border folk in the USA and Canada were
very helpful and pleasant to deal with but it does take some time to
process everything. I think I caught them at a good time as it
didn't take too long to get everything processed. All in all it took five
hours to get there and back and be processed.
I now need to contact the OHIP and the SIN
card folk to get my cards updated so I'll start that process tomorrow.
On another topic... I have been in
communication with folk that are interested in Scots in Argentina and
several have told me that the book "Scots on the River Plate and their
Churches" is the very best one to give us information but it's extremely
hard to find. Well I'm delighted to say that I have located a
collection in the Scottish Collection at the University of Guelph. I
intend to drive over there next week to photograph the book and post in on