Monday, 13 September 2021

Regina, the Queen City


Last month, I attended an uncle's funeral in Regina, Saskatchewan. When I was a kid, I spent a fair amount of time in Regina due to having many relatives living in and around the city, so I consider Regina part of my old stomping grounds.

It's fashionable nowadays in certain quarters to make fun of Regina, but that city takes great pride in staying true to its prairie location and history. I admire that. And Regina has made real strides in the past few years to become a more attractive and urbane city, while still remaining a very down-to-earth kind of place. 

For example, you gotta love a place where the local pro football team's mascot is a gopher, fer gawd's sake! Meet Gainer the Gopher of the Saskatchewan Roughriders --


Its junior pro hockey team, the Regina Pats, is the oldest such hockey franchise in the world. The team was named for Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, the armed forces regiment based in the prairie provinces. (That's the regiment my father served with in World War II.)


On the national scene, Regina is perhaps best known for its police academy, the RCMP Depot Division, where all Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers have been trained since 1885.


While I was in Regina, I spotted a lovely floral and topiary display near the provincial legislature grounds. True to Regina's no-nonsense sensibilities, the topiary was not of some mythological fantasy creature or hoity-toity classical form, but instead celebrated that most humble and ubiquitous presence of rural prairie life, the grasshopper --


[Photo © Debra She Who Seeks, August 2021]

I dedicate this post to my blogging buddy, The Blog Fodder, a retired agricultural consultant who was born, raised and spent his career in Saskatchewan, but who now lives and writes in Ukraine with his wife Tanya. As he once wryly noted in an early post, Tanya is "the only woman in Ukraine who doesn't want to emigrate to Canada," so he moved there instead. He recently spent a couple of years back in Regina undergoing some serious medical treatment, but all is well now and he's back home in Ukraine. His blog is definitely worth checking out!

39 comments:

Sixpence Notthewiser said...

OMG the mascot is too cute!
And I think the RCMP is fantastic. Love me a man in uniform. And if you add that he can ride a horse, I'm there.
I've been to just one hockey game in my life (go Penguins?) and it was brutal. Really. I even saw blood.


XOXO

G. B. Miller said...

Looks very nice and a little laid back. Question for everyone here: I could never quite figure out how it should be pronounced, is the "i" spoken like in the word "fine" or is it spoken like the word "gee?

Many thanks in advance.

Marie Smith said...

I never see the name of that Canadian city but I think of my niece who, as a child could not remember how to pronounce the name. One day, she said, “I know, it’s like vagina. It with the Re…”

Travel said...

It is easy to forget the vastness of Canada. Beyond rural to frontier

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ G.B. Miller -- In Canada, we use the first pronunciation, where the "i" is spoken like in the word "fine." So as Marie Smith points out, "Regina" rhymes with "vagina," another reason that poor city is mocked.

Parnassus said...

Hello Debra, Up the street from where I grew up there was a Regina High School (a private, Catholic school for girls), that had the same pronunciation split. I think that officially it was Re-jai-na, but most people seemed to call it Re-jee-na. Apparently it closed a few years ago, citing declining enrollment. I bet it was the name. It sounds like a song by the Gershwins: "You say Re-jee-na, I say Re-jai-na, let's call the whole thing off!"
--Jim

L said...

Beautiful tribute to a beautiful city!👍👍❤️

Marcia LaRue said...

Such an informative blog this morning! And, especially for the correct pronunciation of Regina ... LOL

Boud said...

Well as long as there's ice hockey. You can see I'm not Canadian, I didn't say just hockey. Anyone who thinks Canadians are mild and quiet and polite never went to a hockey (!) game..

Hena Tayeb said...

lol.. I have actually heard of Regina..
Good to hear you have such fond memories of the city.

Cynthia said...

I love the gopher and the grasshopper, and I am sure I will love reading Blog Fodder too. (I could have said "also" instead of "too," but I think the Fodder Blogger was making his title a pun, so I got lured in.)

G. B. Miller said...

Thanks to all that answered. Kind of reminds me of a writer for the New York Post back in the late 80's whose name was Anna Cock.

Mistress Maddie said...

In all my Canadian tours of the great North Way and time spent there I have yet to get to Saskatchewan. I good blogger buddy Tomass lives there and one hell of a great photographer. I'd love to go see it. And he is way out in the sticks I believe.

But poor Vagina err, I mean Regina.

e said...

I love your prairie travelogues.
In a suburb of my city there is a high school with a gopher mascot - the Gresham Gophers. Not sure why. And, one of the city high schools are the Roughriders. Suddenly feeling very Sasky!
One question, though, do the RCMP still ride horses? Or are they mounted in vehicles?
Impressive grasshopper!

This N That said...

Love the cute mascot..I've .Always admired the RCMP...Great looking !! Have a good week..

Frank said...

US Americans are so clueless about Canada. I admit that I’ve only ever been to Montreal and Quebec a few times. Always enjoyed the French ambiance and the food. Also been to Vancouver, BC Victoria Island which is beautiful. But the rest of Canada is a vast unknown to me.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

Never heard of Regina, but it looks beautiful, and thanks for the lovely blog recommendation.
Cheers.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ e -- The RCMP now use conventional police vehicles like any other force and, in their day to day policing, wear dark uniforms. The "red serge" is a dress uniform used now only for special duties and ceremonies. However, there is an "RCMP Musical Ride" contingent within the force consisting of mounted officers in red serge who perform a musical dressage routine at fairs and special events. I've seen them perform a few times and it is a great show. Pretty sweet work if you can get it, eh?

Debi said...

Sorry for you lose. Nothing sends you into nostalgia for home ground like funerals. Your Down To Earth charm is a delight, you have convinced me that Regina Sask. is a must visit Canadian Destination I do love the grasshopper. especially the antenna!

Lady M said...

Sorry for your loss - I hope you got to see a little family while there and were safe from the covid.

Tundra Bunny said...

There are worse places to live in Canada -- Dildo, Newfoundland comes to mind, LOL!

Old Lurker said...

There's no need to mock Regina when Winterpeg is around.

But "Gainer the Gopher"? Someone is letting his fetish flag fly.

Guillaume said...

I associate Regina with a song from Avenue Q. And I have an aunt called Regina, who used to make the best brunches when she received the family.

Susan Kane said...

What a great place! It sounds beautiful.

Our college mascot was the beaver. the school had a 15 hour work program where students were responsible for a lot. I was in the bakery and then the library.

DB Stewart said...

I lived in Saskatoon for about five years so I'm much more familiar with it; I've visited Regina but not for decades. This makes me want to go again. Thanks.

Mike said...

Love all the color in the last picture.

Joanne Noragon said...

Canada looks so strange without the US hanging off its bottom. Better together, really.

Richard said...

Now, how do you pronounce the name of that city? I would hate to say it wrong.

Richard said...

I figured it out. As a tourist, i would say Re jai nah. As a geek i would say Re gi nah. As a native, i wouldn't say it at all.

Moving with Mitchell said...

I love that grasshopper!

Liz Hinds said...

Go Gophers!

Busy Bee Suz said...

The mascots are hilairious. I can hear the Mascot Choosing Meeting: Cougars? Bears? Lions? Jaguars? Dolphins? ALL THE GOOD MASCOTS ARE TAKEN! HA.
What a fun post!

Fundy Blue said...

How did I not know that the Saskatchewan Roughriders had Gainer the Gopher as a mascot? LOL! A fun and informative post, Debra! I didn't know it was fashionable in certain quarters to make fun of Regina. I always though it was regal. And it's the home of the Mounties' police academy!

Bill Lisleman said...

I like the grasshopper. With good weather and care I'm sure its legs will grow green soon.

Kirk said...

Never heard of Regina, but it looks inviting. I'd like to go just to see a Mountie up close. All I know about them is what I've seen in an Eddy Nelson/Jeanette McDonald movie.

baili said...

glad you shared about the risings and prosperous city where you used to spend more time as kid dear Debra :)
such memories are precious .

i enjoyed the glimpse and knowledge about the place specially this last photo is gorgeous !

i appreciate how you adore your blogging friends ,i am visiting the blog .

blessings!

DVArtist said...

So sorry about your Uncle.

The Blog Fodder said...

Thanks for the shout out. Nice tribute to the Queen City. Lived there 25 years. Oldest daughter lives there. It is my Canadian home address

yellowdoggranny said...

I love the blog fodder and better yet, he's one of my facebook friends and we text each other all the time..I consider him a great friend...sorta like you..