Montreal Daily Star, 24 May 1906, page 4

 Empire Day

The patriotic enthusiasm of our people for this purely Imperial holiday is always an encouraging sign for those whose supreme hope it is that the ties of Empire may be lasting.  There is no other such occasion in the year.  Dominion Day is a national holiday; and the King’s birthday celebration is an expression of loyalty to the Sovereign.  Until the death of the late Queen, we had no Imperial anniversary; but now we can send up our cheers and fly our bunting for love of the Empire and nothing else.

Fortunate it is that it comes at an ideal season of the year.  It is for many the first whole-day outing of the young summer.  By July we are more accustomed to the invitations of the wood and river, and to holidays in which to accept them: but to-day we set forth with all the relish of novelty and all the light-heartedness of newly gained freedom.

It might, perhaps, be as well if we took a little more pains to impress upon the young folk why it is that they are enjoying this holiday.  It is not merely that we want them to go picnicking: but because we think it worth while to pause once in the year to rejoice that we are members of the greatest, freest, most progressive and most civilized Empire in the world.

There is more than sentiment in our gladness at being citizens of the British Empire.  Our individual lives are relieved from many an anxiety and even from many an intolerable burden which would lie upon them if we were not subjects of His Majesty.  Suppose our lots had been cast in a land of tyranny, in a land of militarism, or even in a land of great poverty cowering under the shadow of insolent wealth, how much sadder would have been the sunshine of this May Day!

So we may well rejoice, and teach our children to rejoice, to-day that we are British, protected by the power of the British Empire and enjoying the liberty of British institutions.

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