Vacation travel had thinned out the ranks to the point that calling upon me to teach the quorum seemed a reasonable thing to do. A conference talk on service. But it’s July 24; that has to be worked in somehow. Ah, I’ve got it.
This date marks the occassion that those settlers of what would become a great city arrived at their destination and disembarked from their canoes. Yes, canoes. It was on July 24, 1701, that Cadillac arrived at Detroit, not the Cadillac that would arrive in Detroit two centuries later, Antoine Cadillac leading up a band of 51 voyageurs. And have you ever seen the motto on Michigan’s seal? Only state motto that seems to have been composed as a little joke. Riffing on Christopher Wren and St. Paul’s Cathedral: Si Quæris Peninsulam Amœnam Circumspice. If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.
How about the motto on the Maryland seal, that little scroll under the planter and the Newfoundlander fisherman? [This particular quorum meets in Maryland.] Fatti Maschii Parole Femine. Anyone here read Italian? Manly deeds, womanly words. In mixed company, women generally respond to that with “Hmmm,” so a looser translation could be “Strong deeds, kindly words.”
So, service. Anyone worked a shift at the cannery lately? [Mention the value of manly deeds and womanly words as often as possible in order to convince everyone that the preamble really did have a point.]