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PG’s Tips with Pete Gillings: ‘Time for us to celebrate St George like the Irish celebrate St Patrick’

Diss, Norfolk. Pete Gillings with some of the scrap that can now only be paid for by Cheque as cash transactions have been outlawed ENGANL00120120412162854

Diss, Norfolk. Pete Gillings with some of the scrap that can now only be paid for by Cheque as cash transactions have been outlawed ENGANL00120120412162854

I’ve just survived my 20th St Patrick’s Day in America and boy do they celebrate it in style. I’m sure there’s nowhere on earth that does it better.

When I was growing up I’d never seen a St Patrick’s Day Parade.

I don’t think even in Ireland it was much of a do, it’s always been an American thing, and even non-Irish celebrate it with gusto.

It’s ironic that he should become the patron saint of Ireland considering he was British. He was captured by Irish pirates who took him back to Ireland and sold him as a slave.

My grandfather, Paddy O’Farrell, fought in the British Army. Like a lot of other Irishmen in the First World War, he told me stories about St Patrick, but the one I remember most is that the Union Jack is made up starting with St Patrick’s Cross and then overlaid with our cross of St George and the St Andrew’s cross of Scotland to form the correct name of “The Union Flag.”

With Ireland breaking away from Britain, then Wales, and now it looks 
like Scotland is going the same way, isn’t it time for us to stand up for England and St George, much more authentic, as he was a Roman, but to be fair he didn’t walk about banishing snakes from Ireland as St Patrick did- he slayed a dragon.

With St George’s Day coming up on April 23, isn’t it time to celebrate a true British Saint, even if he was born and died in the Middle East?

Time to go and get an England flag, the cross of St George, (which came from Milan, Italy), we’ve still got a few in stock from last year, and call out Shakespeare’s immortal words: “Once more into the breach dear friends, and cry God for Harry, England, and St George”, and if nothing else, a toast to Shakespeare who died on St George’s Day in 1616.

 

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