Sunday, July 31, 2011

Lieutenant Governor Robert Graves Simcoe

I very rarely agree with Dan gardner, but he is right on this. We should honour Lieutenant Governor John Graves Simcoe and his emancipation of the slaves. We should also remember slavery was abolished throughout the Empire years before the US. There was no civil war. It took an act of Parliament.>Monday, August 1, is a holiday in Canada. Everyone knows that. But what is the name of the holiday?

Most of us call it "the August 1 holiday," or "the civic holiday" or some other placeholder. Of course these are not its official name, which varies across the country.

The imaginative legislators of New Brunswick dubbed the holiday "New Brunswick Day." Showing equal verve, legislators in Saskatchewan and British Columbia, respectively, named the holiday "Saskatchewan Day" and "British Columbia Day." Alberta's legislators, being the bold mavericks they are, called it "Heritage Day."

In Ontario, until recently, there was no provincial name, and municipalities honoured local heroes - "Colonel By Day," "James Coburn Day" - with proclamations which everyone ignored. But three years ago, a private member's bill finally gave the holiday a name that manages to be provincewide without being provincial, in that other sense.

Know what it is?

Of course not. This name is deeply rooted in the Canadian past. It commemorates one of the greatest struggles in human history. And when people hear it - which they likely won't since no one uses it - they have no clue what it means.

It is "Emancipation Day."

1 comment:

Krystina said...

My brother pointed me to this article just yesterday, and said too that while he does not always agree with the author, in this particular article he found much with which to agree. I did too upon reading it for myself, I just wish that I knew of this important day before!

But in any case, one of my favourite aspects of the British Empire is that we did abolish slavery first, and not only that, but sent out our navy to make sure it stayed abolished, even though many of the merchants and people who had something to gain by slavery and the slave trade would protest and use some of their political pressure to make life harder for those who were upholding the Acts of Parliament. It is certainly something of which to be proud!

I Support Lord Black