Sunday, March 13, 2005

Happy Empire Day

Monday 14 March is Commonwealth Day, or Empire Day as we in SQA still prefer to call it.

Around the world millions of people will rejoice in their shared legal, administrative, cultural and linguistic heritage in marked contrast to the unfortunate souls wallowing in the tyranny of the EU.

We were prompted into action by the lack of recognition of this important day on the National Archives * and Asssociation of Commonwealth Archivists and Records Managers' web sites, the former instead showcasing routine services and the latter electronic government issues. The omission of a mention of Commonwealth Day by both bodies is a great shame but especially so in the case of TNA considering the relevance of their holdings.

Similarly, the main national archives web sites from around the Commonwealth are silent.

Seemingly, as SQA suspected, the Commonwealth is not viewed as politically correct. This is a shame and many children will miss out in what the UK government and the Commonwealth envisage as primarily an educational day, perverse indeed in view of the Archives Task Force's view of archives as an educational resource as advocated in their recent development report, which also stresses the role of archives in including people from culturally diverse groups.

For some comment on the continuing significance of the Commonwealth and Anglosphere, read earlier comments by James C. Bennett, director of the Anglosphere Institute and one of our prominent supporters and Professor Antony Flew, our patron.

For further information on Commonwealth Day please visit the following web sites:

For further information on the Archives Task Force, with a picture showing evidence of ATF activity in a Commonwealth setting, please click here

[* As current on Sunday 13 March 2005]

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