My name is Natalia Busch and I am proud to live on Swastika Trail on Puslinch Lake. I am writing this letter to defend my home and my family name from the slander campaign initiated by a few residents from Swastika Trail. It was also implied that since my family name is originally German that we support white supremacist views. This could not be further from the truth, as I was born and raised in Bogota, Colombia. I am an immigrant to Canada and have worked hard for the last 17 years to uphold everything that Canada embodies. I love how tolerant, inclusive, and generally nice Canadians can be; always accepting those minority groups that have been so harshly prosecuted in the rest of the world. The day I became a Canadian citizen was one of my proudest moments.
I have lived on Swastika Trail for the last four years. My husband, who was born and raised in Canada with a German background, bought me my beautiful home and has worked hard to renovate it. In the four years living on the lake, I have never associated Swastika Trail with the Nazi party. Anyone that asks about the name is sure to get a brief history of the origins of the word swastika and the history of how it became part of Puslinch Lake. It was not until a few residents started a smear campaign in the news and social media actively trying to associate my street with the Nazi Party and all its negative connotations. There was even a biased online survey plastered with pictures of Hitler and the Nazi flag asking the public how they felt about Swastika Trail. The survey was very effective in propagating fear and hatred in our community.
Thanks to our wonderful neighbours, we have found a wealth of information about the history of Puslinch Lake. The Resort on Swastika Beach was a fabulous weekend retreat for all neighbouring towns in the 1920’s, well before the world had even heard of the Nazis. Unfortunately the resort is long gone, and so are the white sands of the beach, but thankfully the name remains as a marker of our history.
There are only a few resident from Swastika Trail that want the name changed, most of us want to keep it. I love the rich history of Puslinch lake and I am proud to live on a street that embodies part of that history. I hope on December 20th I get the chance to speak my mind to encourage the Members of Council in the Township of Puslinch to not erase a part of our history, and not to give in to the fear campaign propagated in the news and social media. We should take this opportunity to educate others on the 12,000 year history of the swastika and of Puslinch Lake.