Learning something about Labour Day

“Labor day, shmabor day. What a dumb day. To hire some jerk, then send him away… To celebrate work by playing all day.”

That’s from a Garfield comic strip in 1978, which brings to mind two things.

First, Garfield has been around for 40 years.

Second, from one point of view, the fat cat is right. It does seem strange to have a holiday to celebrate work.

Yes, I know it all makes sense, and I’m not going to get into the history of Labour Day (or Labor Day if you’re American). I also know that for a certain segment of the population in Prince George and across B.C., there is an even greater significance to Labour Day.

It means school is coming. I never used to mind going to school. I never used to mind coming home from school.

It was that in-between time that I could have done without.

It may come as a surprise to some people that I’m not old enough to have gone to a one-room schoolhouse where the list of prime ministers consisted of Sir John A. Macdonald. In fact, all three of the schools I attended in Prince George are still here, although two have changed names.

I started at Quinson (which is still Quinson), moved on to Lakewood Junior Secondary (which is now Lac du Bois), and finished at Prince George Senior Secondary (which is now Prince George Secondary). Each of them was a bit farther away from where we lived on Patterson Street, which worked out quite well.

I could walk down the street to Quinson, ride my bike or walk to Lakewood, and walk or catch a ride with a friend (or his mother) to PGSSS.

And yes, I was kidding earlier when I said it was the in-between stuff I could have done without. There were times when I struggled learning something that didn’t seem it would ever have any relevance in my life, and a lot of those things haven’t had any relevance.

But having to learn them taught me how to do research, and how to stick to something even if I didn’t really want to. I also learned a lot of things that didn’t appear to have any relevance at the time, but do today.

Specifically, I learned that Australia, like Canada, celebrates Labour Day (the British spelling), but has a political party called the Labor Party (American spelling).

And now you’ve learned something today as well.