Saturday, March 10, 2018

Chimo! (with an amazing and uncanny photo surprise at the end of the story)

The Honourable Steven Blaney, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Tom Douglas

Tom Douglas, pictured above, right, is a veteran journalist and book author in Canada and he's always good for an interesting story. He recently signed one of his emails to me with the salutation of "Chimo!" after I had signed my email with "Cheers".

Having never heard of CHIMO! before, since I never lived in Canada, I asked Tom to explain the term to this New England Yankee. In internet time, he replied with a good story and an uncanny surprise photo to boot!

Hi Dan,

Regarding the salutation Chimo! I don't know if you're aware of it but during Canada's Centennial in 1967, the organizers of the major commemorative events tried to get Chimo! used as a distinctive Canadian toast like Cheers! and Skoal. 

It never really caught on but I've been using it when toasting or writing friends from time to time ever since. 

I was on a Rhine River cruise in Germany a few years ago and was telling some new-found American friends on board the tourist boat....about the tradition. They also had never heard of it. 

The word apparently is Inuit ....and is used by strangers among the Inuit people. When encountering another person for the first time, an Inuit hunter allegedly rubs his chest and says "Chimo?" which means: "Are you friendly?" 

If the other party IS friendly, he will rub HIS chest and reply: "Chimo!" 

Anyway, believe it or not, just as I was relating this story on deck......

....... a Rhine River barge passed by. And luckily,  I had my camera at hand because otherwise you might not believe what the name on the barge was...''

Take a look!



Tom was an elementary schoolteacher (valedictorian at Teachers' College) in his home town of Sault Ste. Marie at the start of his  working life. He adds: "Then I got posted to Metz, France as assistant to the business administrator for Department of National Defence Schools Overseas (Canadian military personnel posted abroad for a four-year tour are allowed to take their families with them - ergo the need for Canadian schools offshore). I also taught journalism at a community college in Oshawa, Ontario. In addition, I go into elementary and secondary schools to speak to students (also service clubs) about Canada's military heritage. In 2012 I was awarded the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation for my work on behalf of honouring (Canadian spelling!) our veterans. ''

''Yes, Dan, you can use the story on your blog with the photo. You might even want to mention the link to the Rhine River cruise story'':

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