It would be prudent journalistic obligation to call Allan Wachowich to ask for a few juicy quotes on Thursday’s triumphant announcement — news of Wachowich’s appointment to the Order of Canada.But, I’m not going to make that phone call: I know, from hundreds of personal experiences, Wachowich wouldn’t talk about the honour. Frankly, that isn’t his style.Humble, hard-working and honest. Those are just three traits of Wachowich, the retired Chief Justice of Alberta Queen’s Bench.If you’re around him for even just a few minutes, you see a man who holds himself so well. The Polish Prince, as he is known to his countless friends, greets you with a firm — but oh-so-welcoming — handshake.Wachowich then digs into his fully equipped arsenal of one-liners and barbs. We laugh.Then, like clockwork, Wachowich sincerely asks the important stuff. How’s your health? How’s your family? The job? Is there anything he could help you with?And, before he comes in for another signature handshake, Wachowich finds something witty to say before bidding you so long.You may have noticed: Wachowich shies away from talking about himself.See, now, why I didn’t call?In doing some preliminary research I stumbled upon a YouTube video from 2012. Wachowich spoke about the importance of being proud, and showing that pride, of your nationality.In his case, he waves the Polish flag with gratitude, and unfailing optimism of the future of the next generations of people from Poland. He spoke of how that potential came from the blood, sweat and tears of pioneers from Poland.I consider Wachowich’s comments, made seven years ago, to have profound relevance today.The Order of Canada: the highest honour a Canadian citizen can receive. Established in Canada’s centennial, 1967, the distinguished award has been given to 7,000 Canadians for their efforts in so many areas.Let’s also be cognizant the Order of Canada is announced mere days before July 1, the country’s birthday. Leaders will be all smiles and spreading summer salutes Monday to mark our birthday.But … are things really that good?We have some provinces enraged in schoolyard fights with one another, and rather than a trip to the principal’s office, they end up in court.What kind of message of national unity is that to our children and grandchildren?We have a federal election looming where, I suspect, campaign conversations will be mean in nature — pointing out flaws of candidates — rather than thoughtfully discussing issues Canadian face.That’s why Wachowich’s appointment and his beliefs in honouring national pride needs to be heralded with open hearts and minds.We would be beyond foolish if we didn’t recognize this. Especially at this time of Canadian history.Wachowich is a Canadian citizen who has been duly recognized.Our challenge, should we accept it, is to carry on his legacy of honouring our national heritage … and working together to keep it something we can be proud of.For more on the Polish Prince, including that YouTube video, please visit camtait.com.