Like my Grandmother, and others who love to entertain, Canada has a guestbook. It is called “Canada’s Golden Book” and is signed by visiting heads of state. A page for a visiting dignitary includes a illumination of their national flag, their name and date of the visit. (Apologies that I don’t have better quality photos.) When I was in Ottawa last November, I met one of the scribes who has done many of the inscriptions, Judith Jaimet Bainbridge. Judith’s clients have included the Chancellery of Canadian Orders and Decorations, The Heraldry Authority of the Governor-Gerneral, the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Office of the Secretary of State. Her work graces the Merchant Navy Book of Remembrance and the document granting the Coat of Arms of the Territory of Nunavut.
Judith’s work on Canada’s Golden Book started with the entry for Bill and Hillary Clinton and ended with the 50th anniversary for Queen Elizabeth. She’s now retired, and spending her time with other interesting projects. In March, she’ll be coming here to Victoria to give a presentation and two-day workshop for members of the Fairbank Calligraphy Society. We eagerly anticipate her arrival!
Psst. And a little bird tells me that Canada’s Golden Book is being prepared for the first visit of President Barack Obama by calligrapher, Karen Mackay and heraldic artist, Debra Macgarvie.