BY SAMREH OSBORNE
The Sheridan community gathered at HMC today for a triple threat celebration. Valentine’s Day, Hazel’s McCallion 96th birthday and Hazel McCallion Day were recognized at 9:30 a.m. in the A wing.
Two big cakes were set on the table with one saying “Happy Birthday Chancellor McCallion” and the other “Hazel McCallion Day February 14th.” There were about 40 people present, including Sheridan President, Mary Preece.
“This event is extraordinarily important. First of all she is our chancellor, she is an icon in Mississauga. We are very proud to be able to celebrate this occasion, both Hazel McCallion Day and her birthday at the same time. It’s very important for us,” said Preece.
McCallion was presented with a vase made by Glass Program students, Valentine cookies for her dog and a framed picture of Pilon School of Business Convocation from June 6. “Happy Birthday” was sung by everyone and there were heart shaped pieces of paper for people to write happy birthday messages that were hung on the Sheridan board behind the cakes.
“Over the years I’ve celebrated my birthday and being on Valentines Day it made it special, but this year is historic in my opinion because I would have never believed that the Province of Ontario, the government, all three parties would agree it should be Hazel McCallion Day in Ontario. That I could not believe. Secondly, my age is publicized everywhere. I cannot hide my age,” said McCallion with a smile.
“I have a full day today. At Breakfast Television this morning. I’m at Sheridan now. I’m going to City Hall after this. They’re having a reception for me and at four till six I’m at a Community Centre in Streetsville for an open house. So I’m going to see a lot of people, which is what I love.”
Right beside McCallion stood MPP Amrit Mangat who is the person who pushed for the Hazel McCallion Day to be official. “Here is a symbol of woman of empowerment. Her life story exemplifies her success as an elite, business person, mother, community builder and a public servant in a male dominated system. She inspires us all, and especially young impressionate women. That inspired me to bring this bill,” said Mangat.