Roll out the flags for St George!

ITS time to celebrate our nationality and hang the flags out for St George!

Naomi Cassidy

ITS time to celebrate our nationality and hang the flags out for St George!

This year Ipswich Mayor David Hale is embracing St George's Day and calling all town dwellers to join him and celebrate the event in style.

Next week will be the first time a mayor has held a St George's Day Celebration Dinner and all the proceeds will be divided between his three chosen charities.

Mr Hale says that it is important to mark the event next Thursday, April 23, which he believes has been overlooked in the past.

He said: “I decided to mark St George's Day this year as he was the national saint of England.

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“I felt that the Irish always do something for St Patrick's Day and the Welsh do the same for St David's Day, so why shouldn't we?

“I know there are lots of people holding celebrations in the town. It seems like there have been more held in recent years.

“It will be a good opportunity to celebrate the national day and raise money for my charities.We have got over 30 people coming to the meal already.”

The meal will take place in the Great Hall of Christchurch Mansion and the money raised will be given to the East Anglian Air Ambulance, the Ipswich branch of the East Anglia's Children's Hospices and the Firefighters Charity.

The dinner, which costs �30 per person, includes roast beef, supplied by George Debman Butchers, and apple pie and custard.

Debman Butchers will also be supplying beef to Britannia Primary School in Ipswich for a special St George's Day lunch.

Owner George Debman said: “We are involved in supplying the meat to the school and later that day for the mayor's lunch. I will also be attending.

“As a business we are trying to tie in with events like St George's Day.”

Jane Collins, manager of Clinton Cards in Westgate Street, said that sales of St George's Day memorabilia had gone well so far. Items such as banners, posters, bunting and cards are flying off the shelves ahead of next week's event.

She said: “Sales have gone well so far - better than last year. We usually do quite a lot for St George's Day anyway but we have had a few different designs in this year. People seemed to have noticed our stuff more this year.

“I think they must all be celebrating the day - any excuse to have a party in these times.”

- Are you celebrating St George's Day for a special reason this year? Let us know your plans by calling the Star newsdesk on 01473 324788 or email


- As well England, St George is also the patron saint of Canada, Catalonia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Greece, Montenegro, Portugal and Serbia

- According to Christian belief, St George was a solider of the Roman Empire from Anatolia (now modern day Turkey)

- St George's Day is traditionally the occasion when the Queen announces new appointments to the Order of the Garter

- In 1415, the year of the battle of Agincourt, Archbishop Chichele ordered St George's Day to be observed like Christmas Day

- The flag of St George - which is shown as a red cross on a white background, symbolises his martyrdom