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Apathy Rules

I wasn’t able to post this week’s blog on the usual day because I was off celebrating Queen Victoria’s birthday.  Most Canadian provinces treat the dear old monarch’s birthday as a public holiday that marks the start of summer.  I really wanted to have a military theme for this week’s blog but I suppose we’ll just have to make do with a mention of an half-track later on in this one. I’m afraid that’s as good as it’s going to get this week when comes to matters military. Anyway, what I was going to say is that you probably won’t be surprised to learn that even Canadians feel it’s a bit of an anachronism to be declaring the official birthday of a woman who died more than 114 years ago as a public holiday.  The problem is that no-one can come to an agreement or consensus as to what should be celebrated with a May public holiday. All the alternatives are just too controversial. Only mainly French-speaking Quebec has come up with an alternative to Victoria Day, they call it National Patriots’ Day.  But basically Canada, the second largest country in the world, avoids controversy whenever possible. Sometimes I think the country is held together by apathy. Oh, half-tracks. A bloke I know sometimes dresses up as Winston Churchill and rides around the city of Victoria in a Second World War era US Army halftrack. Victoria , once home to a major Royal Navy base and still popular with United Kingdom-born retirees, likes to celebrate its “Britishness” for the sake of American tourists. Often it must feel like living in an England run by Walt Disney.

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