By Arthur Milnes|
Special to the Toronto Star
Houston girl, 10, gives Yellowknife officers a thrill thrill through E-mailYELLOWKNIFE, Northwest Territories - Deep in the heart of Texas, a little girl has fallen in love with Canada's Mounties. Now Angela Sakowicz, a 10 year-old from Houston, has taken her love of the famed scarlet-clad police force one step further. She has announced through E-mail to RCMP officers in Canada's far north that she wants to be one.
Barring that, she has told her family she wants them to leave the warmth of the American south to live in Mountie territory. The news stunned her mother.
"Angela stood up and when asked what she wanted to be when she grew up, she said, 'Canadian.'"
Angela has become hooked on Canada and the Mounties since she started watching the popular television series Due South. She felt a particular affinity with Fraser, a character on the series played by actor Paul Gross.
Like Fraser, who talks to his dog, Diefenbaker, during the show, Angela too is close to her dog, Mike. To Angela, who is a special needs student, if a "real-life" Mountie in Canada can talk to his pet and remain special, she can too.
"There have been changes in Angela that have amazed me," her mother said in a telephone interview.
"To begin with, she now sees it as an honour to be different. When kids at school laugh at her, she just works harder at learning. When she is teased because she doesn't understand some things, she tells me that people laugh at Fraser too, but he knows he's special so it doesn't bother him and she wants to be like that."
Angela has alos become one of Canada's biggest boosters in the Lone Star State. Told in history class that two Canadians might have died at the Alamo, she announced to her peers the famous fort would not have been lost had there only been more Canadians on the scene.
The Canadianization of her daughter led Sakowicz to embark on a frantic search of the Internet for all things Canadian. Late one night, she came across the RCMP G Division Website. Seeing they had guest comment section, she sent off a heartfelt thanks to Canada's mounties for doing such wonders for her daughter.
In Yellowknife, officers are thrilled by the attention they're receiving from so far away.
"I have to say, after 17 years in the service, I have a renewed spring in my step," an obviously moved Andrew Boland, Yellowknife RCMP detachment commander, said in a reply.
"I printed your message and sent it through our building, which also holds our headquarters for the Northwest Territories, overseeing the operation of 42 detachments ranging in size from one RCMP member to 31," he added.
"Many people in our building read your note and all have commented on how great it was to receive something so flattering." Sakowicz said five Mounties have written to her and her daughter. Some have even enclosed pictures.
A package containing Canadian flags and videos about the RCMP is also heading south.
When contacted by a reporter from Yellowknife, Angela seemed surprised by the attention. "They (Canadians and Mounties) think I'm special?" she asked.
Indeed, they do. Angela also wanted to know if Canada did this for everyone who wants to know what it's like to be a Mountie.
"Like me, she is rather amazed at the attention, since it all started with one little question: 'Mommy, where do Mounties come from?'" Sakowicz said.
They come from Canada. A place Angela is welcome to visit any time. Just ask the Mounties.