Skip to content Skip to sidebar Skip to footer

Centennial Anniversary

By: Pastor Darren Godsoe

March 15, 2024


s I mentioned last Sabbath, I took the opportunity to attend the Centennial Anniversary Celebration for the City of Oshawa on Friday, March 8.  Because my doctor had sent me for some routine blood work that morning, I missed the first part of the program, but I was able to take in most of it.  (And why can you not just swipe a credit card to pay for on-street parking in downtown Oshawa?  But that is a separate topic for another time . . .)  So I missed the town crier proclamation, and the welcome and smudge by an first nations elder at the beginning of the program.  When I arrived there were some Anishinaabe traditional dancers performing on the stage.

     It was interesting to hear some of the stories and historical perspective and trivia about Oshawa – not just from the past 100 years, but also from the time before that.  The 2-hour program reviewed the development of Oshawa from a number of perspectives – highlighting the involvement and contributions of aboriginal peoples, the arts (music, theatre, dance, etc.), post-secondary education, government (local and regional), business and commerce, sports and multiculturalism.  The only reference I heard regarding religion was in connection with Oshawa’s growing cultural diversity – when it was stated that a purpose-built mosque had been constructed in Oshawa.

     In the bag of information and goodies given to those who attended the centennial program, (which included a unique and tasty “Oshawa Centennial” shortbread cookie!), there is a 44-page glossy booklet which provides information on not only Oshawa’s history, but also current services and initiatives.  In that book, it provides a breakdown of how the city celebrated becoming a city 100 years ago, and how the city was celebrating this 100th anniversary of city status.  Back on March 8, 1924, the population of Oshawa was 15,545.  When I was growing up here in the 70’s and 80’s, I think the population was about 60,000.  Today it is approximately 190,000.

     But in the half hour program celebrating the new city designation back in 1924, the rector of an Anglican congregation was invited to ask for a blessing for the young city, and this was followed by a prayer given by a pastor from a Methodist Church.  Reflecting on the difference between the two programs reminded me of how much the society we live in has changed.  While religion – and specifically Christianity – was a natural and normal part of a community’s celebration back then, it was no longer a component of our current celebration.

     Construction of the College Park Church began in 1959, and the first service was held in 1960.  But there has been a Seventh-day Adventist presence here in Oshawa since 1912, with Adventist Christians regularly meeting for worship in connection with Buena Vista Academy being relocated to the current site of Kingsway College.  The role of the church, and Christianity, in the community may not be as readily recognized these days.  Nevertheless, our commission to Love God, Love Others, Share the Gospel, and Serve the World continues.  So let’s continue to seek God’s direction in how best to intentionally serve and positively connect with our community here in the wonderful city of Oshawa and beyond.