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“Oyez! Oyez!”

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In a long-ago era, ages before social media, the internet, television or radio, town criers served as the primary news source for many. Even though the printed word was available, literacy was by no means common, so townsfolk would gather around their local crier — sometimes referred to as a bellman — to hear royal decrees, the latest news or even advertisements. Today’s criers play a ceremonial role, one that brings a level of pageantry to a variety of occasions as they formally announce the presence of VIPs and guests of honor, often starting with the ringing of a bell and the traditional shout, “Oyez! Oyez!” (Hear ye! Hear ye!).

One such person is Daniel Richer Dit Laflêche, who recently appeared at the Canadian Elevator Contractors Association’s 45th annual Convention. As the official town crier for Canada’s National Capital Region, Richer Dit Laflêche is the only town crier authorized to display the Royal Coat of Arms of Canada on his uniform. His duties have taken him to numerous venues, and he often announces dignitaries before the houses of Parliament. He has introduced everyone from the pope to Gene Simmons of the rock band KISS (who he described as a “perfect gentleman”). One of the more-interesting people he has announced was Chris Hadfield, the “singing astronaut”, who, in 2001, became the first Canadian to walk in space.

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Elevator World | September 2019 Cover

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