I was on the bus heading downtown when the 5 magnitude earthquake hit Ottawa yesterday, so I didn't feel a thing. Actually, I was on my way to Saint Patrick;s Basilica to attend the Holy Hour at Three and the Anniversay Celebration afterwards.
On my way I decided to take the time to purchase a July bus pass at the Rideau Centre, but when I arrived at the OC Transpo counter I was told I needed some kind of photo ID in order for them to take my photograph for the pass. I didn't have any on me as I wasn't expecting I needed photo ID to buy a bus pass. That certainly wasn't the case when I had my last picture taken for them about ten years ago. You don't need photo ID when you get a bus transfer or when you purchase a day pass. What a bunch of jerks. The purpose of the photo attached to the pass you buy is just proof that the picture of the person on the pass is the same person who is using it. Total bureaucratic nonsense. We bought train and subway passes in Japan and never needed photo ID when we purchased them. What a stupid bureaucy OC Transpo has become. Anyways, after wasting my time on this nonsense, I bought a coffee at Tim Horton's and did a sudoko puzzle in the food court to blow off steam. Fifteen minutes later I headed back to the bus stop on Mackenzie King Bridge heading west.
After I boarded the bus, the driver announced over the loudspeaker "For those riders who plan to take the O Train, it isn't running because of the earthquake" Duh? What earthquake? Anyways, I guess that explains why there were so many people on all the sidewalks dowtown. Funny thing, I never felt or heard a thing.
I got off at Kent and headed over to the Church and saw that there were dozens of people mulling around the church and sitting on the front steps. Oh great I thought "Now the Church will be closed for the Anniversary Celebrations and I will be told not to go in." That wasn't the case. I was allowed in ( thank God because I really had to go to the bathroom by now.) All those people were from the Government Office buildings from across the street. Whew! I was on time for the Holy Hour but I thought I should phone Mike to see what was up and I phoned from the Church basement. I wasn't able to get through so I went outside again and eventually after about 10 minutes I managed to reach him. He said that the quake struck about 1:45 and yes, everything was ok. The walls shook and a few pictures on the wall are now crooked but that's about all. Just the same, I was glad we have earthquake insurance ( just in case)
So by now I was a bit late for the Holy Hour which is at three every day at the Basilica. Afterwards, I stayed in the Church until mass and the Novena to our Lady of Perpetual Help at 4:30. My sister Barbara arrived around 4:00 and joined me near the front of the Church. The mass was celebrated by Archbishop Terrence Prendergast who, incidentally, didn't feel the eqrthquake either because he was on a plane returning from Ireland when it struck. All in all, it was a very beautiful celebration although the Church was very hot. I took a few pictures which I will add later. There was a reception afterwards in the Parish Hall which is situated in the nice cool basement, but Barb and I didn't stay because she had to go to work. We did however find a restaurant on the Spark Street Mall where we stopped to eat.
After that I went home, and Barb went to work at her office in the West Block. I hope she was allowed in by then. When I talked to Mike earlier, he thought that some of the government buildings were to remain closed until they had been checked out. Anyways, it was an interesting afternoon and I managed to get home before it started to rain very heavily. I still haven't straightened the pictures.