For as long as I can remember we’ve offered a toast to the Queen at our annual Charter Party.
It always seemed somewhat quaint, sort of old-school to me but I went along with the ritual.
This week one of our members at Toastmasters and her family took the oath of citizenship and became Canadian citizens. They were all very pleased and our club members were just about as excited.
The occasion got me thinking about becoming a citizen. I’ve always been a Canadian and with that comes citizenship but doesn’t necessarily mean I’ve been a good citizen who always votes and pays taxes and is loyal to the Crown.
So what is this loyalty that requires pledging allegiance to the Queen and loyalty to the Crown?
The editorial in today’s (Monday, March 2, 2015) Toronto Sun sums it up pretty well.
Quoting Judge Karen Weiler who wrote the Ontario appeal court ruling on a recent case where three applicants for Canadian citizenship wanted to recite the Canadian citizenship oath without pledging allegiance to the Queen where the judge wrote:
“The oath is secular and is not an oath to the Queen in her personal capacity but to our form of government of which the Queen is a symbol.”
The editorial then goes on to quote former Toronto Sun columnist, the late MacKenzie Porter who wrote:
“The Queen, figuratively speaking of course, is of course every Canadian. As a head of state born to her office, and free from obligation to any political organization, the Queen symbolizes the existence and interests of all the people, regardless of their party affiliations. When the prime minister bows to the Queen or to the Governor General, he affirms that the government is the servant, not the master, of the people.
“The government rules but the Queen, representing the people, reigns….One cannot be loyal to the Canadian Constitution without being loyal to the Queen.”
And thus at our Toastmaster Charter Party we stand for the loyalty toast: “The Queen.”