Friday, June 17, 2011

Thank You Lawrence Hill

Today was Malcolm's convocation from the University of Waterloo and we couldn't be prouder.  

It was a lovely day and it was fun to spend it with Malcolm and Christie celebrating this important event.  

While I was on the edge of my chair for the two minutes Malcolm was on stage - totally soaking up the moment.  See there he is on the left with the green stripe on his hood in the photo below (don't you love all the colourful academic gowns and caps and pudding hats).

However, I've been to a few convocations in my day so when it was time for the keynote address I settled in to my tune-out mode - oops did I just admit - until I heard who was giving the speech.  It was Lawrence Hill, the author who wrote the wonderful novel The Book of Negroes.  He was given an honourary degree by the University of Waterloo and then he talked to the graduates about the importance of volunteer work and what he gained from volunteering in west Africa with Crossroads Canada and the importance of books and literature.  It was a wonderful speech, an inspiring speech, and one that had me awake the entire time.  So all I can say is that you saved me, Lawrence Hill.  Thanks to you I actually enjoyed this convocation.

Lawrence Hill giving the keynote address at the convocation

After some photos we went out for lunch.  Waterloo is a big Mennonite area so we went to a restaurant that had good home-cooking, including traditional Mennonite dishes and plenty of low German being spoken.

They're all laughing because I made them clean up the table and hide the ketchup bottle under the table

Congrats to our boy for all the blood, sweat, and tears (well actually I'm not sure how much blood was really shed) that went into completing his Honours English Bachelor of Arts degree.  And if you haven't read The Book of Negroes you should get on that right away because it is not only well written, but is engaging and well researched.


  1. Lawrence Hill was actually at our school as a guest speaker. He was quite the hit with both staff and our young people. Congratulations to your son on his academic accomplishments. Gotta love the Crossroads gift shop.

  2. Oh, and his brother, Dan Hill (singer and songwriter) is performing at The Rose Theatre in Brampton in Feb. 2012.

  3. looks like a good day! congrats to malcolm!


  4. I would have loved to see Lawrence Hill. I really admire his work and LOVED the Book of Negroes...incredible story. For USA readers the name of this book in the USA is Someone Knows my Name.

    Congrats to Malcolm.

  5. Congratulations to Malcolm and also to you and your husband. You obviously did a great job as parents because he turned out pretty good!

  6. Congratulations to Malcolm on his achievements, you all must be very proud!! And I will have to look for that book. Thanks Chania for the USA title!

    Kat :)

  7. What a special day for you and your family. Congratulations! :D

  8. Great post. I have come away with a must read book and a new interesting tidbit from Elizabeth...Dan Hill is the brother of Lawrence Hill? Wow, that name opens up the flood gates of memories.