Wednesday, June 29, 2022

TBT: Retired astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield speaks to local students, 2016

Throwback Thursday is sponsored by Comic Oasis:

Students from Dresden, Wallaceburg and all across the Lambton-Kent District School Board had the opportunity back in May 2016 to listen, learn and be motivated by the first Canadian to walk in space.

Retired astronaut Col. Chris Hadfield provided the keynote address at the Specialist High Skills Major Conference, held in Hadfield’s hometown of Sarnia.

During his address, Hadfield encourages the students to follow their dreams… and he provided them an exercise to practice themselves.

“Whenever you go into a bookstore, I would bet you don’t always go to every single section exactly the same,” Hadfield said.

“There is probably parts of the bookstore that you normally go to, whatever it is that is interesting to you. If the two of us were next to each other and we walked into a bookstore, within 30 seconds or so I would go off, and you would go off and what you are doing is going to the place that you like, the places that are interesting to you.”

Hadfield said for him, he wanted to walk on the moon.

“Canada didn’t have astronauts, they didn’t even have a space agency but I thought if I was going to be an astronaut someday, what should I do,” he said.

“So, I read books about it… I knew astronauts flew in space, so I learned to fly. I can do that, so I joined the Air Cadets and I learned to fly. I went to school, I learned to scuba dive, learned to speak other languages. I tried to constantly increase my skills so that someday maybe, somebody would pick me to be an astronaut. Amazingly enough, I flew in space three times and was even the Commander of the world space ship and spent half a year off the planet, on board the International Space Station.”

Hadfield added: “I think it’s an important personal thing to go through, a definition of perfection, an impossible perfection in your life.”

Read the full Sydenham Current story from the event, here.

If you have an old photo, or video, that you would like to see on the Sydenham Current, let us know by sending us an email to

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