“The song is ended but the melody lingers on.” — Irving Berlin
I met Lynda in 1972 in Malton, a neighbourhood in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
I had visited Toronto in the summer of 1969 when I was living in Chicago. It was a brief visit but the observations that I had made were very impressive and inspiring.
I learned that Canada was a relatively small country from a population point of view but it was the world’s second-largest country by total area of the country. From an economy perspective, Canada indeed was a very prosperous country. Their GDP (Gross Domestic Product) must be virtuous and their dollar was worth more than the US dollar as I had to pay 3 cents more for each dollar that converted from American to Canadian. The crime rate in Canada must have been negligible as people on the radio were still talking about a murder which took place two weeks back in Montreal. Pierre Elliott Trudeau was elected in June 1968 as a Prime Minister of Canada and there was so much optimism in the air. I thought wouldn’t that be nice if I get to live in this great country.
It was a dream came true when I came to Toronto from Chicago on June 30, 1972 with a plan to apply for immigration. I didn’t know that the next day, July 1st, was the National Day of Canada, observed as a statutory holiday in Canada. It’s a celebration of the anniversary of the formation of the union of the British North America provinces in a federation under the name of Canada.
The next working day, I went to the Immigration Office on the University Avenue in Toronto. It only took 35 minutes to go through the interview and most of the time we discussed about computer languages as the immigration officer who was interviewing me had recently enrolled in a basic computer course and he wanted to know what does it take to get into learning computer languages. At the end of the interview, I got my Permeant Residency card which allowed me to live and work in Canada with the provision that I would be allowed to apply for the Canadian citizenship after living five years in Canada.
Because of my computer background, it took me less than a week to find a reasonable job at Playtex in Malton, Ontario.
Malton had an interesting history. Malton was purchased from the Mississauga Indians for 8,500 British Pounds in 1818. This purchase was the second such purchase from Mississauga Indians and also included other parts of Peel (Caledon and Chiguacousy portion of Brampton), the Town of Gore, and parts of what is now Toronto, including Albion/Rexdale. The first settlers to Malton arrived in 1819 and had roots from England.
I took over immediately the Computer Night Operations for Playtex and started working from 5.00PM to 12.00AM. Playtex is an American brand name for undergarments, baby products, gloves, famine hygiene products and sunscreens.
Playtex had a different IBM computer system than the system I was working on in Chicago before I came to Canada; it was relatively a smaller operation. I was grateful that I was given a lot of flexibility to work the night shift.