St. George’s Day
April 23, 2021Apr 22, 2021 - By John D. Reid
The feast day of Saint George, patron saint of England, is April 23. A provincial holiday is observed in Newfoundland and Labrador.
England has had a dominant influence in Ottawa. Over 95% of Ottawa’s residents speak English; England was the largest ethnic origin for Ottawa residents after Canada in the 2011 census. That is changing as Canada welcomes immigrants from many countries, notably East Asia and China.
There was an active St George’s Society in Ottawa from 1844 to 1956. Its objectives were uniting English people and their descendants for social and patriotic purposes and affording its members advice and pecuniary assistance in case of need. Also active were the Sons of England Benefit Society, Ladies’ Auxiliary of the St George’s Society; and Daughters and Maids of England. St George’s societies existed in Toronto and Montreal and likely many other communities.
April 23 is the assumed birth date of William Shakespeare, England’s greatest playwright. The exact date is not recorded; his baptism was on Wednesday, April 26, 1546 at Holy Trinity Church, Stratford-upon-Avon. Shakespeare died on April 23 in 1616.