The List: 10 things Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion can’t live without

The List: 10 things Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion can’t live without

Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion, who turns 90 in a few weeks, just started her 12th (and last) term. Here, 10 things she can’t live without

My daily affirmation
A few years ago, a friend gave me a book called Starting Your Day Right, by Joyce Meyer, which has an inspiring quote for each day of the year. With all of the reports I need to read for work, I don’t have much time for leisure reading, so this is just right. It keeps me upbeat.

My most cherished photograph
It was taken on November 18, 2005, the day I received the Order of Canada. I was surrounded by my children and granddaughter, and it was one of the most memorable days of my life. I keep it in my office.

My Ojibwa bling
The city of Mississauga has always had a special relationship with the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. The late chief Maurice LaForme gave me a necklace that I wear to the powwow in Hagersville every year, and also as everyday jewellery. You can’t find this kind of beautiful beadwork anymore.

My childhood classic
I first read Black Beauty as a little girl, and it stuck with me—probably because I grew up on a farm in Port-Daniel, on the Gaspé Coast in Quebec, and spent a lot of time with horses. It has a permanent place at my bedside even today.

My hunger buster
A few years ago, I read that walnuts are good for you, and I’ve been eating them regularly ever since. I sprinkle some on my cereal in the morning, and if I don’t have time for lunch, I have a handful of walnuts to tide me over.

My trophy fish
I don’t get out fishing very often anymore, but it has always been one of my favourite pastimes. Some of my best catches are mounted on my office wall. The biggest is a coho salmon, which I caught out on Lake Ontario 20 years ago.

My Irish lullaby
I listen to a lot of classic country at home and in my car, but “Danny Boy” is the song I love most. When I was growing up, my mother would always sing and play piano after dinner, and it was her favourite song. I get teary-eyed when I hear it.

My best friend
I’ve had three German shepherds in the past few decades: first Pal, then Hurricane—yes, I named her after me—and now Missy. German shepherds are smart dogs. The companionship, unconditional love and enthusiastic greetings I get from Missy make every day worthwhile.

My personal produce market
I prefer eating from my own pesticide-free garden. I grow flowers and all kinds of vegetables—green beans, peppers, tomatoes, lettuce—and take great delight in watching them grow and thrive. I do all my own gardening and housework.

My home away from home
I’ve been living in Streetsville for 49 years, but I’m still attached to Port-Daniel and my family there. My nephew lives in the house where I grew up. I visit every few years, and when I’m there I feel like a kid again. It brings back so many wonder­ful memories. It was a simpler time.

(Images: Black Beauty by Carlo Mendoza; walnut by Kevin Dyer/iStock; others by John Cullen)