Monday, April 23, 2012

O THE ROAST BEEF OF OLD ENGLAND

God save the Queen!

It is St. George's Day. While everyone in the private sector and teachers are working today, most provincial public servants are enjoying a long weekend!

The Irish have St. Patrick's Day, The Scot's have St. Andrew's Day and those patriotic Brits have good old St. George to celebrate English Heritage and patriotism.

If anyone  has a case to celebrate and wear a red rose in our lapel it is us. We were England's first colony, the starting point for an empire the spanned the globe. In 1497, during the reign of Henry VIII, the pennant of the Cross of St. George was flown by John Cabot when he sailed to Newfoundland and it was also flown by Sir Francis Drake and Sir Walter Raleigh


Some history of the holiday. It has been on the books since April 23rd, 1222 when the Council of Oxford declared April 23rd. St. George's Day. It was not until 1415 that it was declared a national feast day and holiday in England.


George, a Tribunus Militum in the Roman military, lost his head for rising up against the pagan  he Emperor Diocletian.  George was dragged through the streets of Nicomedia, Turkey, on the 23rd of April 303 AD before getting the chop. The whole time he stayed true to his faith.

As Crusaders returned to England from foreign shores, they brought with them tales of St George, and his reputation grew. It was not until 1348 that St George became the Patron Saint of England

Who does not enjoy a day off..with pay? Frankly, I am a little embarrassed about the fact that the public are subsidizing these old sectarian holidays while the folks that pay our salaries work. While so many people in the private sector are worried about their pensions and benefits, public servants have gold plated benefit packages they can only dream of.

I prefer to be at home today, I anticipate a tense day at the office tomorrow as  the public service prepares for the budget cuts!


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