Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Sash Me Father Wore

Well, not me Da, me Big Uncle Jim from the North. We were the Green side. But Happy July 12th to all you Orange people! May the sun shine on your parade! When I was young in Toronto, the Green side of the Irish community actually marched in the Orange Parade -- Irish dancing schools, the Neil McNeil and De La Salle boys bands, and even the Knights of the Columbus (or is that a false memory?!) And on St Patrick's Day, I distinctly remember the Orange Lodges getting me to do Irish dancing at their celebrations of the day (yes!) as well as the Daughters of the Eastern Star clubs and the Masonic Lodges. That's the way these holidays should be celebrated -- as cultural festivals which both sides can enjoy together. I know that's hard for people in Northern Ireland to envisage because there has been so much bigotry and bloody murder on both sides. Yet it is not impossible, as the Canadian communities from both these backgrounds have proven. Roll on that day and the sooner the better!

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